REHABILITATION works on the Adomi Bridge at Atimpoku in the Eastern Region, are expected to be completed in November, a month beyond the scheduled date.
Engineers working on the project say work is 76 per cent complete, and about 80 per cent operating within its contract sum of 12.9 million Euros.
Dr. Paul Herrmann, the Project Manager, told members of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Highways, during their visit to the project site at Atimpoku on Wednesday, that time extension was granted to Bilfinger MCE, the Austrian construction firm working on the project, to provide for eventual necessary repair works on the arch.
“The new handing-over date is 30th November 2015,” Dr Herrmann said.
Mr. Michael Coffie Boampong, Chairman of the Select Committee and MP for Bia West, suggested to the contractor and the engineer to direct their problem to the Ministry of Roads and Highways, to facilitate their tax issues through the Ministry of Finance.
Mr. Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, Ranking Member on the Committee, stressed the need for regular maintenance of the bridge to get its full life span of 100 years when the rehabilitation works were completed.
The Adomi Bridge spans the Volta River, connecting the Volta and parts of the Eastern Regions to other parts of the country.
It was jointly designed by Sir William Halcrow and partners and Freeman Fox and partners, and built by Dorman Long Bridge Engineering Limited in 1957.
Following the closure of the bridge in March, last year, drivers and passengers were faced with various problems in their bid to either move to or from the Volta Region, and some parts of the Eastern Region, which were cut off from the rest of the country by the Volta River.
The repair works involve replacement of the entire bridge deck of 23 sections. As at last month, 22 of them had been replaced. Each bridge deck, prefabricated in Austria, comes in five pieces, but are welded together as one before being launched.
Out of the 40 hanger cables holding the bridge to the arch, about 25 cables have been replaced. Each of the hanger cables comes in two pairs.
The new deck is of asphalt on steel instead of the old decks which made of the much heavier concrete on steel. The two walkways on each side of the bridge will, however, be made of concrete on steel as the new tollbooth will now be sited about 1.2 kilometres from the bridge on either side.
When completed, the bridge will now have an inspection platform fixed under it and work hydraulically, and operate at sections to detect any defects that might develop on the bridge.
This feature is to avert the difficulty in detecting faults in the past. An improvised lift fabricated at the project site has been fixed on the bridge to enable artisans to move up the arch and work on the replacement of the hanger cables. – GNA