In the course of my career, which spans several decades, I have been involved in dozens of road construction projects. And in the course of the said projects, I have come to learn quite a number of things about the whole business of constructing roads for public use. One of the most important things that I have learned, over that duration of period, is the fact that road construction projects are usually very challenging. This is especially the case for the people in government who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the general public has good roads to use. In my experience, such people – that is, the people in government charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the general public has good roads to use – tend to face three challenges, which I will be sharing in today’s blog post.
The first challenge that is typically encountered in road construction projects is that of getting the necessary financing for the projects. Yes, the government is responsible for construction of the roads, but the actual finance usually comes from private sources, under the public private partnerships scheme.
The second challenge that is typically encountered in road construction projects is that of getting good contractors for the projects. This can be very tricky, and the good contractors are almost always fully engaged, and what you have to deal with are dozens of mediocre contractors lobbying for projects that they lack capacity to execute properly. This is why you see scenarios where international contractors have to be brought in.
The third challenge that is typically encountered in road construction projects is that of getting the land for construction of roads. This typically involves the compensation of landowners, and legal tussles are not uncommon in this process. There are also scenarios where new road routes have to pass through critical public amenities, and the process of having to dismantle such public amenities to pave way for the new roads can be very heart wrenching.