General News of Monday, 16 April 2018
Some motorists and inhabitants near the tollbooth at Beposo Nkran in the Shama District in the Western Region are threatening to block the highway, an international road if nothing is done about the abandoned tollbooth project. The project, which was awarded almost a decade ago, is yet to be completed as the contractor has deserted the site, leaving the scrapped surface at that portion of the road in a very bad shape.
The overhead roofing of the uncompleted tollbooth has become a threat to road users, as the metal structure holding the roof wobbles during heavy storms and can collapse anytime soon.
The construction of a new tollgate became necessary after three persons, including a toll attendant, died on the spot in 2010 when an articulated truck ran into the old tollbooth, situated immediately after the Beposo Bridge.
The contractor, who was said to have been awarded the contract before the incident, was asked to move to the site but is yet to complete the project to ensure the safety of road users, since the tollbooth is too close to the bridge.
The road on which the new toll booth is located on the main Accra, Cape-Coast/Sekondi-Takoradi highway, was tarred with asphalt but it was scrapped by the contractor during construction works.
Almost 10 years after the contractor bruised that portion of the road, it is yet to be fixed, a situation motorists say has resulted in several road traffic fatalities, claiming lives and property.
Currently, that portion of the road has deteriorated and slows the movement of vehicular traffic unduly owing to the gaping holes created on the about 600-metre stretch the contractor cleared.
When the Daily Graphic visited the facility, the contractor had finished the construction of some of the cages for toll collection and were partly roofed. It also has office spaces.
Due to poor illumination at night, first-time users of the road run into some of the structures, resulting in the collapse of some of the booths, with some of the steel rods in the concrete structure exposed to the natural weather.
At the time of the visit, a section of the overhead roofing had been destroyed by wind and the main office structure constructed for the police and workers had been taken over by weeds and reptiles.
Members of the community said, the movement of vehicles in the afternoon often sent clouds of dust into the community and nearby farms, disturbing workers.
When contacted, officials of the Ghana Highways Authority confirmed the fears expressed by the road users as well as the plight of the residents, saying the contract had been terminated.
They will, however, not tell when the project would restart but indicated that they were shopping for a new contractor.
The District Chief Executive for the Shama, Mr J. Amoah, told the Daily Graphic, that he received complaints from residents and motorists daily.
“I went to the highways office in Takoradi to discuss the issues and the possible resumption of work and they assured me work will resume but still nothing has been done. I went back only to be told that the former director is on retirement,” he said.
Mr Amoah said that portion of the road posed problem sand that but for the police the place would be a serious flashpoint for armed robbery.
“This is because every vehicle slows down and had the police not been around vehicles would have been attacked there at night by robbers,” Mr Amoah stated.
He, however, gave an assurance that the assembly would not stop pursuing it until the contractor returned to site or a new contractor was engaged.