Five companies have so far expressed interest to finance the reconstruction of the 19-kilometre Accra-Tema Motorway on a public-private partnership basis.
The companies have presented sets of designs and proposals to the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA).
The GHA, according to the Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, was, however, awaiting the outcome of a World Bank-funded transaction advisory works expected to be completed in September this year for one of the companies to be selected for the project.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic , Alhaji Sulemani indicated that the government had decided to engage the private sector in the project because of the huge funding required.
About GH¢500 million would be needed for the Motorway Expansion Project, which had a proposed design of a six-lane carriageway, service lanes, as well as other ancillary works, he said.
According to the minister, provision had also been made for the interchange at Tetteh Quarshie to be reconstructed and another interchange in Tema to contain the growing traffic congestion in the harbour city.
The transaction advisor, he explained, was required to, among other things, review the designs of the companies that had expressed interest and negotiate the terms and conditions for the tolling.
The selected company would be made to toll the highway for a number of years to recoup its investment, Alhaji Sulemani stated. History of Tema Motorway
The 19-kilometre stretch of highway linking Accra to Ghana’s industrial and manufacturing hub, Tema, was one of the numerous prestigious projects conceived and built by the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The Convention People’s Party (CPP), which was in government in the First Republic, built a modern harbour and a township in Tema which needed an excellent highway to facilitate trade and commerce between the new town and the rest of the country through Accra.
The project formed part of the Seven-Year Development Plan (1963-1970) of the CPP government intended to transform the economic and material conditions of the country.
For more than 30 years, the highway did not witness any major rehabilitation, leading to the development of numerous potholes which caused deadly accidents and traffic congestion.
Ironically, about 20,000 vehicles of different classes ply the motorway daily and are tolled, depending on the type of vehicle being used.
There are three categories of vehicles that ply the motorway — commercial vehicles (trotro), private vehicles and big trucks. The motorway has 12 toll booths.
Commercial vehicles (trotro) and 4x4s are charged GH¢1, while big trucks are charged GH¢2.
Ironically, while the riding surface of the motorway has been deteriorating, its traffic volumes have been increasing steadily, a situation largely attributed to loads from the Tema Habour and growing residential apartments around the motorway.
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