Veep cuts sod for beginning of Tema Motorway Interchange project

Dr. Bawumia(behind the steering wheel) cutting the sod. Photo Blay Gibbah

Dr. Bawumia(behind the steering wheel) cutting the sod. Photo Blay Gibbah

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, yesterday cut the sod for work to begin on the Tema Motorway interchange.


The first phase of the project known as project for improvement of Ghanaian international corridors: Grade separation of Tema intersection in Tema is, being funded by the government of Japan with a grant of US$54 million through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


This includes construction of 2.1 km three lane dual carriageway with 730m underpass on the national route N1 beginning from the toll station on the Accra-Tema motorway ending around the Allied Oil filling station on the Aflao road, improvement of approximately 1.9km two lane dual carriageway on the national route N2 from the Ashaiman roundabout onto the harbour road, construction of pedestrian bridges among others expected to be completed in 28 months.


The objectives of the project which started in February and would be completed in 2020, include the improvement of the capacity of the Tema roundabout and its adjoining roads to enhance safety and efficiency of transportation in the Greater Accra Region and the provision of uninterrupted traffic flow to facilitate trade and transit in the West Africa sub-region.


Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Bawumia cautioned motorists to be circumspect and obey safety regulations in order to prevent accidents, deaths and injuries on the roads.


“Good roads can be lifesaving but over the years we have realised that improvements in roads are accompanied by over speeding, reckless and irresponsible behaviour on the part of motorists resulting in accidents, wanton deaths and injuries,” he said.


He listed lack of maintenance, disobeying traffic rules, reckless use of high beams at night and declining quality of driving as some of the causes of accidents, adding that some drivers seem to forget that a car is just a machine that needs to be operated with care and safety.


He described the Accra-Tema Motorway as the busiest highway in Ghana where 35,000 vehicles ply daily generating GH¢40,000.00 or GH¢14.5 million annual revenue.


The motorway, he said, was part of the Trans-Africa highway from Lagos through Lome-Accra-Abidjan and to Dakar, with the roundabout serving as the junction to the sub-region.


Vice President Bawumia expressed government’s commitment to the provision of good roads to achieve rapid development and transform agriculture and industrialise the country.


The Japanese Ambassador, Tsutomu Himeno said the official ground breaking ceremony is a testimony of the deep friendship between Japan and Ghana.


He said the grant was in response to a request by the government of Ghana in 2013 for the road improvement which would on completion enhance the road network connecting Tema-Ouagadougou and Abidjan-Lome and ease traffic congestion on the motorway roundabout expected from the Tema port expansion and during rush hours among others.


The country Director of JICA, Mr Hoshi Hirofumi, said Japan would continue to support physical infrastructure and enhance the capacity of Ghanaian engineers and workers through joint work with local sub-contractors.


“JICA will continue to work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Roads and Highways and Ghana Highway Authority to ensure this project is completed on time,” he said.


The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako-Atta, on his part gave the remaining five per cent  artisans and squatters whose activities impinged on the right of way of the project two more weeks to vacate or they would be forced out.


He appealed to road users to support the contractors by complying with diversion routes in order to complete the project on schedule.


Mr Amoako-Atta however gave squatters who had erected unauthorised kiosks, structures and pit latrines among others along the Accra-Tema motorway some time to relocate or face the full rigours of the law.


That he said would provide uninterrupted access for the expansion of the motorway into six lanes from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange following the award of the contract.

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