Being the flagship project of the government in Accra, the iconic three-tier flyover provides a major boost for the transport sector in the capital, as it will help to significantly ease traffic in the business district, reduce travel time and vehicles operating cost and, thereby, stimulate economic growth.
The landmark interchange is the longest and highest flyover in West Africa, with the top tier stretching 1.2-kilometres.
Apart from the flyover, the project produced an enhanced drainage system, modern transport terminals and offices for transport unions, police, fire and ambulance stations, pedestrian walkways, landscaping, and a dancing fountain and water park (designed after the water park in Dubai), with a giant imposing statue of Ghana’s first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, all of which have culminated in shooting the zone into a major tourist attraction site.
The project, which started in October 2013 with a 74.88 million Euro loan from the Brazilian government, was executed by Queiroz Galvao Construction, a leading Brazilian construction firm.
The construction of the interchange became necessary when the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, which handled over 84,000 vehicles from the arterial roads and their intersections daily, created heavy traffic in the area.
It removes a highly frustrating bottleneck in the nation’s road network as it would save the thousands of motorists and commuters who use the hub, from wasting time in traffic.
Hitherto, motorists spend over an hour during rush hour in crossing through the hub, but the interchange has reduced the travel time to less than five minutes.
The inauguration was characterised with wild jubilation among scores of people who thronged the interchange.
President Mahama, inaugurating the facility, described yesterday as a “momentous and historic day.”
“Ghana is rising,” he said, adding that the project, added to recently completed ones and ongoing road projects aimed at opening up the country for rapid economic growth.
“It is not just an interchange,” he said, adding that the project had offered other facilities which had transformed the area in the government’s quest to create a congenial environment for businesses and transport operators.
The President paid tribute to the memory of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, under whose tenure the idea was mooted, saying he continued the arrangement after taking over as President.
“I am glad we did it,” he said, and also commended the other Presidents, Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor for the various interchange and road projects they also undertook in the road sector.
This adds to what has been done by my predecessors,” he said, adding that “governance is an incremental process”.
Touching on the new water park and the Kwame Nkrumah statue, President Mahama described them as befitting for the memory of the nation’s first President, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, from whose development vision the government continued to draw inspiration.
President Mahama rededicated himself to the infrastructure development of the country, which his administration would use to support job creation efforts.
“This is just one of the many top projects in the road sector,” he said, announcing that the Kasoa interchange would also be completed next month, while the Pokuase interchange would be undertaken next year.
The President thanked the government of Brazil for the support, and the management and workers of Queiroz Galvao Construction for the remarkable project execution, and all stakeholders for their contribution to the successful completion of the project.
Nii Doudu Nsaki, acting president of the Ga Traditional Council, in his address earlier, lauded what he described as the “visionary leadership” of President Mahama, citing a number of monumental projects undertaken by the government which continued to transform Accra.
By Edmund Mingle