General News of Friday, 30 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Construction work on the 31.7-kilometre Kwafokrom-Apedwa section of the Accra-Kumasi highway which halted for more than a year has resumed following the payment of all outstanding debts owed the contractor, Messrs China International Water and Electric Corporation.
The project, which has been extensively delayed and has generated enormous public outcry, would, according to the Resident Engineer, Mr Joseph Omani-Mensah, now be completed in 12 months.
Work resumed in November 2014.
The two major hindrances to the completion of the project — debts owed the contractor and compensation for affected persons — had been settled, according to Mr Omani-Mensah.
“As far as I am concerned, the government does not owe the contractor a pesewa,” he said.
He explained that the contractor had been directed to focus mainly on the south-bound section of the road, which is expected to take eight months to complete, while work on the other lane would take about four months to complete.
Currently, the contractor is carrying out earth work from Kyekyewere to Asuboi, a stretch of about 700 metres.
It has also completed the earth work formation on some sections and is ready to work on the sub-base.
Mr Omani-Mensah said the government had, in 2013, paid project affected persons compensation.
The Kwafokrom-Apedwa section forms Lot 6 of the Accra-Kumasi highway dualisation project.
The dual carriageway begins from Kwafokrom, which is also the end of the Nsawam Bypass Dual Carriageway, and terminates at Apedwa, where it reverts into a single carriageway.
The project comes with a 260-metre interchange at Suhum.
It started in December 2008 and was originally scheduled for completion in March 2012 at a cost of GH¢157.6 million. It is funded by the government.
Work on it, however, came to a halt in June 2013 due to financial difficulties, at a time when about 63 per cent of the work had been executed.
The Accra-Kumasi highway forms part of the international trunk road, the N6. Within Ghana, it connects Accra to Kumasi, Sunyani, Techiman, Tamale, Wa, Bolgatanga, among other major towns.
Outside Ghana, the road serves as a critical connection to neighbouring countries in the north, including Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Chad, Libya and Senegal.
The average daily traffic on the Accra-Kumasi highway, according to the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), is 7,528 vehicles.