Project consultants supervising the reconstruction of the 64 Kilometre (km) road from Ashaiman roundabout to Atimpoku say they are reviewing the project designs submitted by the contractors, Inzag, a German-based construction firm ahead of physical commencement of works in November 2022.
The review, according to the Vice-President of the project consultants, Associated Constultants, Kwabena Bempong, would allow for the payment of compensation to affected persons.
That, he said, would also allow for the relocation of affected utilities such as water lines, electricity and telecommunication facilities.
Briefing the Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, during a visit to the project site at Shai Hills on the Tema-Akosombo road last Wednesday, Mr Bempong indicated that the contractors started work in May 2022 and had so far undertaken the engineering studies on the project of which a draft report for the design contract was being reviewed.
The Minister was accompanied by his deputy, Stephen Jalulah, the Chief Director for the Ministry, Dr Abass Awolu; the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Highway Authority, Christian Nti, as well as other directors of the Departments of Urban and Feeder Roads.
The minister and his team also inspected ongoing works at the Kpone Junction on the Tema-Aflao stretch.
Mr Bempong told the team that the contractors were mobilising resources such as equipment for the establishment of concrete and asphalt and precast plant as well as the construction of a camp site which would serve as offices and a mess for the contractors.
The £256 million project being financed by the Standard Chartered PLC of Germany under an Export Credit facility, is expected to be completed by November 2024 once the physical construction works get underway.
The six-lane project, Mr Bempong said, would have a flyover from the Ashaiman end stretching some six km long towards Gbetsile near Michel Camp with associated service roads.
“We have divided the cross sections into four with the first section being a two-lane dual carriageway with service roads, while the second section stretching seven kilometres will have a three-lane dual carriageway, and an additional section stretching from Asutuare Junction area to Kpong, and subsequently to Akosombo, all in the Eastern Region,” Mr Bempong said.
Already, the contractor, Mr Bempong said, had started the clearing and earthworks along the stretch to allow for the new construction to be fed into the existing road to allow for the diversion of traffic from the existing road into the service roads being created.
He also indicated that 11 footbridges would be constructed between Ashaiman and Atimpoku owing to the huge development along the stretch.
Mr Amoako-Atta tasked the contractors to consider revising the completion date to September 2024 instead of the November deadline.
The government, he said, had made the dualisation of roads a major priority to ensure it was in tandem with the developmental progress of the country.
“We all know the importance of the dualisation of roads and the progress it could bring to the country in terms of transportation and trade and agri-economic development, and I believe the commencement and completion of this project will bring relief to commuters,” he said.
At the Kpone Junction where work on the 17-km Tema roundabout to Miotso is underway at the cost of $100 million, the Roads Minister expressed reservations about the pace of work which had caused the completion date to be changed from November 2022 to December 2023 due to what the Resident Engineer, Phillip Ansah, described as contractual issues.
Mr Amoako-Atta maintained that the road, also under a United Kingdom Export Finance Agreement, was one of the most congested routes within the Tema areas as a result of it being a major ECOWAS trade route.
He also tasked them to improve accessibility of the detour roads within the construction areas to make them motorable to commuters.
Mr Ansah on the other hand pointed out that the delay in the payment of compensations to persons removed from the right of way continued to be an impediment to the project’s speed, coupled with the challenges in the relocation of facilities belonging to the utilities companies.
Nevertheless, Mr Ansah said the construction of the interchange at the Kpone junction along the stretch had seen considerable progress with the erection of the pilings to hold the bridge nearing completion.