Cape Coast - Kumasi Road rehabilitation: Phase Two 65 % complete
Work on the second phase of the rehabilitation of the N8 National Trunk Road project is progressing steadily.
The Phase Two of the project, which covers a 31.2 km stretch from Assin Fosu to Assin Praso, involves the rehabilitation of the road with asphalt, concrete pavement and the road’s dualisation to a four-lane carriageway, including a 1.2km section in the centre of Assin Fosu township.
There would also be the reconstruction of the railway underpass bridge by a reinforced concrete box culvert, and the reconstruction and rehabilitation of drainage structures.
The project, being executed by Japanese construction firm, Shimizu Dai Nippon Joint Ventures, forms part of the Yamoransa Junction to Asante Bekwai stretch, which connects Cape Coast to Kumasi.
It is, therefore, the continuation of the Phase One project completed in December 2013 which improved the 60km road between Asante Bekwai and Assin Praso.
Fully funded by a grant aid from the Japan government, the project commenced on March 1, 2020 and was expected to be completed in 30 months.
However, due to an 11-month delay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the road project is now set to be completed by the end of November 2023.
Officials of the Embassy of Japan led by the First Secretary for Development Cooperation, Katsumura Akihisa, inspected the project last Wednesday.
He was accompanied by the First Secretary for Public Relations and Culture, Teragaki Yuriya and the Coordinator for Development Cooperation, Musah Ibrahim.
At the site, the Resident Supervisor for the project, Shuji Soda, said it was 65 per cent complete.
The Daily Graphic observed construction workers busy working on a roundabout which would create an intersection point into the Assin Fosu township.
There was also the excavation of the old asphalt to make room for levelling and the application of the new.
A concrete mixer was also observed on the site where some workers were working on the pavements for human traffic.
The N8 National Trunk Road facilitates the transportation of goods for both local consumption and export.
Therefore, when completed, the project would help improve traffic movement along the N8 National Trunk Road in the Central Region, as well as enhance economic activities around the project area.
Other benefits to be derived from the project include an increase in trade between the country and its neighbours, improvement in the transportation of major export commodities such as gold, bauxite, timber, cocoa and manganese to the Takoradi Harbour, as well as increase people’s standard of living, especially those in the rural areas.
Mr Akihisa expressed satisfaction with the progress made.
“With what I have seen today, I have to say the government of Japan and I are happy with both the condition of the project and the cooperation of the Ghanaian people,” he said.
He reiterated Japan’s continuous support to the country, especially in the road sector.
Mr Soda said in spite of the significant progress made, it was not without some serious challenges.
He explained that heavy rains last year caused some major road blocks for the project. However, he said they had been lucky not to experience such phenomena this year.
Mr Shuji also said because the project was located at the countryside, the procurement of certain essential materials was a bit of a challenge.
“This is the countryside so that makes procurements a little difficult, but we are managing for the good people of the area,” he said.
For his part, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Assin Fosu Municipal Assembly, Nicholas Kofi Baako, expressed his gratitude for Japan’s support in rehabilitating the road to boost economic activities in the area.
He also said upon earlier engagements with the contractors, he observed that the road construction had ended about 500m away from the end of the municipality.
Mr Baako, therefore, appealed to the embassy saying: “If that could be added so that the whole thing becomes complete we would be very appreciative because that portion of the road is also in bad shape”.