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General News
115 billion cedis for Accra High Street Project 1/16/2007
Accra, Jan. 15, GNA - The Government of Ghana (GOG) has allocated 115 billion cedis towards the construction of selected roads within the Accra Central Business District.

The projects include the reconstruction of the Korle Lagoon Bridge, a four-kilometre road stretching from the Lavender Hill near Korlegonno to the Independence Square and one-way pedestrian schemes within the Okaishie Sub District.

The Department of Urban Roads (DUR) is supervising the project, which is being undertaken by China Railway Wuju Group, a Chinese construction firm. Tahal Consulting Engineers (TCE) from Israel through their local subsidiary, Alpha Consulting is the consultant for the project.

Diversions on the road project on Monday worsened the traffic situation in Central part to Accra and the Korle-Bu areas and when the Ghana News Agency visited the project site, roadblocks were mounted at various points within the area, and personnel from the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) were directing traffic.

Hundreds of commuters opted to walk to work instead of going on commercial vehicles that were stuck in heavy traffic.

Mr Kwesi Nuama, Road Development Engineer from DUR, who is in charge of the Project told the Ghana News Agency that so far the Government had released a 22 billion cedis as Advance Mobilization Loan (AML) to the consultants to re-start the Project.

He said the project, which took off several years ago but was halted due to lack of funding would now be completed in the next 18 months, adding that the bridge bit of it would be completed in eight months.

Mr Adrian Frantescu, Chief Executive Officer TCE, also told the GNA that as part of the Project, the bridge at Lavender Hill would be expanded and raised up to accommodate the back tides from the sea waves and also be lengthened from the current 30 metres to 66 metres. He said the bridge would be converted into double dual carriageway to ease traffic to and from Accra.

Mr Frantescu noted that the current state of the bridge at Lavender Hill was a death trap, saying that it was on the verge of collapse and that structurally it had failed.

"The bridge is too short and narrow - we are lucky that articulator vehicles do not use this bridge, otherwise it would have collapsed long ago," he said.

"We will construct a three span bridge, taller enough, with several outlets to ensure easy flow of the back tide from the sea waves." He said in the course of the road construction only the City Engineers office building and the walls of the Customs, Exercise of Preventive Service offices in James Town would be affected. "We need to preserve the historic buildings along that corridor and so we would not touch any of them," he said.

Mr Frantescu said the Project promises to create jobs for both skilled and unskilled personnel in the country, saying that at the moment all the 200 persons employed for the Project were Ghanaians and there was a prospect of an additional 150 jobs for the people in the James Town, Ga Mashie, Chockor, Korlegonno.

He said while the Project was underway, the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU) would assist to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

Mr Frantesacu said efforts were being made to prevent the reoccurrence of heavy traffic jams but noted that during the project period traffic would be considerably slow within that area.Source:

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