The brisk business activities especially fishing and tourism that used to be characteristic of Elmina in the Central Region, are expected to bounce back in full gear, as work on the new bridge to replace the weak one over the Benya Lagoon nears completion.
According to the Central Regional Director of the Department of Urban Roads, Mr. Mawutor Kofi Keketsyor, works on the 75-metre bridge, in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem Municipality, is currently 93 per cent complete and would be completed next month.
Taking his turn to present a report on work being done by the department at the Central Regional Coordinating Council, in Cape Coast on Tuesday, he said adjourning roads to the bridge were being asphalted.
The project being executed by the China Railway Wuju (Group) Corporation started in 2014 and was scheduled for completion last year.
The construction of a new bridge became necessary when the old steel bridge, connecting business centres around the Benya Lagoon including the Elmina Castle, lost its structural integrity and was unable to carry the axle load for which it was designed.
Aside from endangering lives and property, its vertical clearance was low, inhibiting larger fishing boats from passing beneath it when the sea tide was high, and this slowed down fishing activities, the major livelihood of the people of Elmina.
To avert any misfortune, the Municipal Assembly restricted its patronage to only pedestrian movement, affecting business activities, especially fishing as it was difficult to transport goods between the two areas.
When completed, the new bridge would properly link the two business centres, increase business activities, boost tourism related activities, which reduced in recent times as tourists did not have easy access to the Elmina Castle and Fort Jago, two important historical sites in the region.
The Municipal Assembly would also see an increase in revenue collection to undertake developmental projects.
Mr. Keketsyor touched on several road projects being undertaken in the region, including the asphalting of the Cape Coast Metropolitan roads in order to improve on the road network and ease congestion in parts of the metropolis.
On the Kotokuraba Market, the Cape Coast Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mrs. Priscilla Arhin-Korankye said 85 per cent of the main works had been completed and that it would have nearly 2,400 stores, stalls and sheds among other facilities, when completed next month.
It is also expected to revive the business activities in the metropolis.
From Jonathan Donkor, Cape Coast