Kwafokrom-Apedua road open to traffic

The Accra-Kumasi bound section of the Kwafokrom to Apedua junction dualisation road was yesterday opened to traffic.

The move is to ensure that drivers used the Kumasi-Accra bound and Accra-Kumasi bound sections separately to avoid unnecessary head-on-collisions of vehicles during this Christmas period.

The 31.7- kilometre road project which is about 80 percent complete would however be closed to traffic after the festivities for the contractor to fully complete work.

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta who officially authorised the opening of the road said substantial work has been done and the remaining work would be continued immediately after the holidays.

According to him, government would no more entertain accidents which could have been avoided hence, the decision to open up the road for free-flow of traffic in order not to inconvenient any road user.

He indicated that opening the road would not be business as usual where drivers begin to speed beyondlimit and put the lives of passengers and other road users in danger.

The Minister stated that the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service would be on hand to provide 24 hours surveillance on the road to bring recalcitrant drivers to order and ensure the purpose of opening the road was achieved.

He said U-turns and vehicular inter section would be temporally closed while the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) and other agencies under the Ministry would partner the MTTD and Nsawan-Adoagiri Municipal Assembly to effectively sensitise road users during the twelve-day holiday period.

He urged drivers to exercise maximum restraint during the cause of using the road to avoid any head-on collision during the period adding, “If you are driving and get tired park and sleep and when you are okay you continue your journey.”

Both the Eastern Region Minister Mr Seth Acheampong and the Regional Police Commander Stephen Kofi Haitafu assured of supporting the minister’s resolved to maintain a zero-accident period during the holiday period.

Messrs China International Water and Electric Corporation were awarded the Contract for the Accra-Kumasi Dualisation Project, Kwafokrom-Apedwa Section (31.7km) in August 2008.

This project included the construction of an interchange at the Suhumjunction. Actual works commenced in December, 2008 and it was for an original Contract Period of 39 months and was scheduled for completion on March 14, 2012.

As a result of challenges of payment of outstanding Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs) a meeting was held in October, 2016 with the Contractor following which a programme was prepared to complete the South Bound Carriageway by May, 2017   however, due to financial challenges work could not be completed.

In July 2021, the Employer paid the Contractor all outstanding certificates for work to progress without interruptions.

As at December 2021, the North Bound Carriageway is about 80 percent complete and work is expected to be fully completed in March 2022.

FROM LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU, KWAFOKROM

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