Guard rails on Achimota-Ofankor, N1 fall apart

Accra’s major highways, George Walker Bush and the Achimota-Ofankor highway, are beginning to show signs of  disarray as crushed guard rails have been left unrepaired, exposing motorists to the hazard of falling off the road in case of an accident.

Meanwhile at some sections of the two major highways, medians and sidewalks meant for grassing are overgrown with weeds, creating a messy sight, defeating the purpose for which they were created – beautification.

It is barely three years since the George Walker Bush Highway was opened to traffic, and about the same for the Achimota-Ofankor highway. It is, however, obvious that little or no maintenance is being carried out on the two major highways which link the sub-urban settlements of Greater Accra to the national capital.

  Achimota-Ofankor highway
Careless drivers have for instance rendered the crash metal barriers on some sections of the Achimota-Ofankor highway useless as they dangle or lie on the ground. 

A drive along the highway from the Tetteh Quashie Interchange through the Achimota Overhead to the John Teye Memorial School junction revealed that the crash barriers at some portions of the road had been damaged, ostensibly through reckless driving, while others had been entirely removed.

The problem is compounded by the fact that not all the critical areas along the stretch have been provided with the safety barriers, which further exposes motorists, pedestrians, and other road users to danger.

The Resident Engineer for the Achimota-Ofankor road, Mr Shelter Lotsu, told the Daily Graphic that China Railway (Wuju) Group, the contractor working on the Achimota-Ofankor highway, was in its defect liability period, which means that it is responsible for the maintenance of the highway, which includes replacing the crushed barriers, trimming the grass and fixing other defects that might occur on the road during the period.

It appears, however, that the contractor is unable  to perform these duties as the government is heavily indebted to it.

Mr Lotsu stated that the Ghana Highway Authority was aware of the shortcomings on the road but said its indebtedness to the contractor did not allow the GHA to demand that the defects were fixed.

“Because payment has been a problem on that project, the contractor has been unable to carry out the maintenance programme,” he said.

Fortunately, Mr Lotsu said, the government had made some payment and the contractor was expected back on site in some few weeks.

He indicated that the contractor had been duly instructed to carry out those maintenance works, including replacing the crash barriers.

  George Walker Bush Highway
Barely three years after the completion of the NI (George Walker Bush) Highway under the Millennium Development Authority project, the activities of scrap dealers and reckless drivers have led to the destruction of the crash barriers on the highway.

The essence of a crash barrier is to create a boundary and thus prevent a vehicle involved in an accident from veering off the main road and causing further destruction to lives and properties along the road.

Currently the large spaces left within the Bush Highway, particularly along the Mallam Junction side, have become congregation spots for ‘trotro’ drivers and traders, among others.

The activities of these groups of people come with obvious danger as a truckload of soap once fell over the concrete barriers and landed in one of those spots.

  The police
Mr Freeman Tettey, the Greater Accra Regional Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Police Service, said the MTTD was on the lookout for those who normally caused damages to the crash barriers on the highways.

He appealed to the public to call the police on 8555 and 919 to inform them of any wrongdoing on the roads. 

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