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Accra-Tema Motorway to expand into 3 lanes

BY: Della Russel Ocloo

Construction works to convert the Tema-Accra motorway into a three-lane expanded highway is scheduled to begin in September 2015.

The expansion works fall under the Tema Port expansion project being undertaken by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) and will feature a complete re-engineering of the 24.7-kilometre stretch of road from the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout in Accra to the Tema Harbour.

The works will entail stripping off and replacing the existing concrete material of the entire length of the road.

It will also include the construction of interchanges to accommodate the link roads from Trassaco Valley, the Accra Abattoir territory, Sakumono, Nungua and Ashaiman.

The Director General of GPHA, Mr Richard Anamoo, disclosed this at a media briefing in Tema. He said improvement of the road was critical to the authority's quest to strategically position the port and make it fit to accommodate larger container vessels.

He said the road which would cost approximately $300 million, when completed would contribute to growth in businesses.

He said bad roads had become obstacles to business operations within the port and its immediate environs.

"The decision to expand the motorway as part of the port expansion project stems from the volume of cargo on the road to and from the port on a daily basis.  

"Carriage of commodities, including oil, clinker, cement and general goods in transit, have contributed partially to the damage done to the Tema-Accra motorway,” Mr Anamoo said.

Tema Port Expansion

He hinted that the first two berths at the Tema Harbour which were to be expanded would be ready for use by October 2016.

He said when work on the berths were completed, they would be expected to create an enabling environment for investment and also give opportunity for the creation of jobs.

Mr Anamoo said the Tema Port expansion project which was a partnership between GPHA and Meridian Port Services (MPS) was estimated to cost $1.5 billion. On completion, he said, it would become the largest cargo port in West Africa, with a capacity of 3.5 million 20-foot container equivalent unit (TEU) per annum. Container traffic is measured in TEU.

Currently, the Tema Port has a capacity of about 1 million TEUs.

Bollore Africa Logistics and APM Terminals, Africa's leading container terminal operators, are the principal investors in the project.

"Efficiency is our watchword, we intend to pursue this further as we go into the future. As such, we would want this major expansion of facilities to become a pacesetter," Mr Anamoo said.

He was hopeful that the realisation of the project would position Ghana as a leading maritime trade destination in the sub-region.

MPS

The Chief Executive Officer of MPS, Mr Mohammed Samara, said growth in economic activity and increasing volumes of exports and processed imports at the Tema Harbour had necessitated the expansion of the port.

"The expansion of the MPS yard is being done within GPHA's master plan", he said.

"We believe that the project would not only upgrade the port but also affect critical connections linking the hinterland to the port," he emphasised.