Tema Motorway tunnel closes for repair works
The tunnel on the Tema Motorway that connects Community 18 to Borteyman will be closed to traffic on Sunday, September 10 to Monday September 11, to allow for repair works following the removal of about 1,200 of the 2,000 bolts and nuts that hold the corrugated bridge together.
The removal of the bolts by thieves, officials of Ghana Highway Authority said, was having a severe impact on the motorway's concrete slabs, a situation which could cause that section of the motorway to cave in if the bolts were not replaced immediately.
A Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Stephen Pambiin Jalulah, who led a team of engineers from the Authority to inspect the damage in the tunnel, expressed concern about the extent of the theft, which, he said, could damage the bridge’s structural integrity, thus shortening the lifespan of that section of the motorway.
"The bolts are essential to the bridge's structural integrity and to prevent the corrugated metal from collapsing, which would sever the motorway into two," Mr Jalulah said.
The deputy minister was accompanied on the tour by another Deputy Minister, Thomas Mbombo, the Chief Director of the Ministry, Alhaji Abass Awolu, the Deputy Managing Director of the GHA, Collins Donkor, the Managing Director of Urban Roads, Godfried Amoo, and other directors of the GHA and Feeder Roads.
The deputy minister also expressed concern about the nonchalant attitude of citizens who stood by and did nothing when others damaged national infrastructure.
Citing the street lights along the motorway, which, he said, had all their cables stolen and the poles damaged barely two years after they were installed, Mr Jalulah encouraged members of the public to endeavour to report suspicious activities to authorities for the appropriate action to be taken.
Condition of motorway
Mr Jalulah, however, stressed that the Mobile Maintenance Unit of the Ghana Highway Authority would continue to undertake remedial works to seal the damaged portions to make it motorable while a permanent solution was found.
“We all know that the motorway in its present form has outlived its purpose, leaving it with safety concerns and the government will continue to work on the rebuilding process so as to address the underlying challenges,” Mr Jalulah said.
The deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Collins Donkor, said vandalising of the bridge was a major setback for the GHA, which had been working to improve the conditions of the motorway.
The Project Manager of the Bridge Maintenance Unit at the GHA, Victor Baah Nyantakyi, said the scope of work included cleaning and excavating the areas around the bridge to cast concrete slabs of 11.2 cubic metres to prevent water from pooling around the tunnel.