The $84-million Pokuase Interchange project in the Ga West Municipality in the Greater Accra Region has been redesigned from a three-tier to a four-tier stack interchange.
The move is to facilitate more vehicular movement and enhance traffic flow on the interchange.
Mr Kwabena Bempong, the Associate Vice President of Associated Consultants Limited, a consulting company for the project, who disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times last Friday, said the redesigning of the project followed the ‘value engineering’ of the design for the project.He said the new design was technically superior from the initial design and was meant to ease traffic on the road and to improve the time for the construction and reduce the cost of the project.
“The new design will not increase the cost of the project but rather reduce it and will improve the efficiency of the project,” Mr Bempong said.
He said the new design would require no traffic lights unlike the previous design and would allow vehicles to flow freely; adding that the current design has a lane for traffic from Accra to Kumasi, second tier for traffic from Accra to Awoshie.
According to him, the third tier would accommodate traffic from Awoshie to Nsawam and Kwabenya to Accra and the fourth tier to handle traffic from Awoshie to Kwabenya.
Mr Bempong said the project was currently 45 per cent complete and would be completed before the end of 2020.
He said the contractor had requested for additional six months extention for the completion of the project and was yet to be approved by the government.
The project was originally scheduled to be completed in April 2020.
Mr Bempong said currently the contractor had completed 250 out of 478 piles (deep foundation) to carry the piers (the columns for the interchange).
In addition, the consultant said the contractor had almost completed the Pokuase local and adjoining roads.
The construction of the Pokuase and adjoining town roads was to improve the lives of the people in the adjoining communities and help divert traffic when the contractor enters the main road.
Furthermore, Mr Bempong said the project was 45 per cent complete as of last Friday.
He said the contractor had relocated all the utility lines of PDS and GRIDCo and the contractor would soon construct underground channels for all the telecommunication companies to relocate their lines.
The consultant said the contractor would construct a large storm drain for the Ayawaso drain and outflow drains to prevent flood water from inundating the road.
Outlining challenges facing the project, Ing Bempong said the current rainfall was affecting the project but would not affect the project schedule.
The consultant engineer said the delay in compensating the individuals affected by the project was affecting the pace of work since some of the structures on the project site had been demolished.
Ing Bempong said only 25 per cent of the GH¢10 million allocated for compensation had been paid.
The groundbreaking ceremony was performed July last year for commencement of the Pokuase Interchange
The project, which is jointly funded by the African Development and Government of Ghana, is expected to be completed in two years and would ease traffic congestion and improve urban mobility along the Accra-Nsawam road.
The construction which is being undertaken by Messrs China Zhongmei Engineering Company Limited forms part of the Accra Urban Transport Projects.
The Accra-Nsawam road is an important international route that connects the south to the north of the country and other Sahelian countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
The completion of the road is expected to reduce the time commuters spent between Accra and their final destination.
In addition the passengers normally take two to three hours on that road which affects the economy.
The completion of the road would boost economic growth and activities between Accra and the neighbouring regions as well as Ghana and other countries.
FROM KINGSLEY ASARE & ANITA NYARKO YIRENKYI