The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) is mounting new bollards to block all unapproved U-turns on the Accra-Tema motorway.
This is to help prevent unapproved u-turns on the motorway which sometimes leads to preventable accidents.
On Monday morning [September 14, 2020], Graphic Online observed workers of a contractor busily mounting the bollards especially close to the Accra section of the motorway.
Some of the areas the contractors were working were near the toll booth at the Accra section and from the Trasacco Valley stretch, through the block factory area and behind the East Legon Police station all the way to the Accra Mall area at the Tetteh Quashie Interchange.
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This is not the first time the unapproved u-turns on the motorway have been blocked.
In the past, anytime such unapproved turns have been blocked, motorists create new turns.
A typical example is at the Community 18 junction where a new u-turn has been created even though an earlier one has been blocked.
How the unapproved u-turns are created
There are a number of squatters along the motorway and so a number of footpaths have been created in the median.
Motor riders normally start using these medians as u-turns and with time, they widen up to become possible for vehicles to also use.
The unapproved turns have been negatively impacting on driver performance under rainy, foggy weather conditions and at night.
Most commercial drivers literally soliciting for passengers as they ply the 100km/hr limit route, have also created major stop/pick up points along both sides of the dual carriageway. This practice causes abrupt obstructions with a high potential of causing multiple traffic crashes with its attendant fatal consequences.
The slow-moving traffic has become the norm as most heavy-duty trucks and trailers, tricycles and other slow-moving vehicles take to the speed lane, thereby restricting able vehicles from overtaking them.
Some of them do this to avoid potholes in the outer lane as well as to avoid the commercial trotro drivers who sometime stop abruptly either to drop or pick passengers.
On a daily basis, some vehicles (especially cars, tricycles and motorcycles) travel counter-traffic for distances between 100 to 300 metres to negotiate U-tums or exit the motorway posing great danger for oncoming traffic, especially at night.
The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) for instance last year counted about 45 unapproved access roads linking the motorway and called on the Ministry of Transport to fence them.
According to the BPS, until that was done, the Accra-Tema Motorway will continue to lose its essence of being called a motorway.
The BPS said it observed that 19-kilometre stretch had 45 unauthorised U-turns out of which some 24 have a semblance of blockade while remaining 21 U-turns have been effectively created and frequently used by cars, mini-buses (trotros), tricycles and motorcycles and that the danger the situation creates for other road users should not be overlooked.
It said it identified 28 access points on the Tema to Accra stretch, six out of which access points were either restricted or completely blocked.
It said it also found that the Accra to Tema carriageway had 23 access points with four of them either blocked or restricted, and that the description on the route is generally poor, and in some cases completely nonexistent.