President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut the sod for the construction of a four-tier interchange at Suame in Kumasi, with the declaration that the government is working assiduously to improve urban mobility in the city and the Ashanti Region at large.
He said statements within certain circles that the Ashanti Region had been starved of development projects were untrue.
The Suame Interchange project, which is in fulfilment of a pledge the President made during a tour of the Ashanti Region last year, will consist of a four-tier interchange at the current Suame Roundabout, with overpasses at the Abrepo, Krofrom, Anomangye, Magazine New Road and Abusuakruwa junctions.
It will be the first four-tier interchange in the Ashanti Region and the second in the country, after the Pokuase Interchange in the Greater Accra Region.
Construction of the interchange will be undertaken by M/S Grupo Dizmar of Spain and Rango Construction Limited, a Ghanaian company, while the complementary road component will be undertaken wholly by a Ghanaian firm, Rango Construction Company Limited, with supervision of the entire project being the responsibility of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, through the Department of Urban Roads.
President Akufo-Addo said the interchange, with the complementary road project, would tremendously improve the traffic situation in the region and also reduce the perennial congestion experienced around the Suame Roundabout during peak time and improve urban mobility within the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area.
He charged the contractors and the Ministry of Roads and Highways to help ensure value for money for the country, as well as ensure strict adherence to completion dates.
Apart from the Suame Interchange, President Akufo-Addo said, the government was pursuing other critical road projects throughout the country in a holistic manner, so that every part of the country would have quality, all-weather roads.
“In the Ashanti Region alone, the Akufo-Addo government has completed the asphalt overlay of 295 kilometres of roads since 2017. Some of the beneficiary areas include the Kumasi metropolis; that is, at Subin, Nhyiaeso and Bantama, Asokwa, Oforikrom, Kwadaso, Suame, Old Tafo, Asokore Mampong, Bekwai, Obuasi, Ejisu, Juaben, Sekyere East (Effiduase), Asante Mampong and Atwima Nwabiagya South,” he said.
In addition, the government had completed the construction of 100km of local roads in Kumasi, which was undertaken by M/S Contracta, with the beneficiary assemblies being the Kumasi Metropolitan, Asokwa, Kwadaso, Oforikrom. Suame and Tafo Pankrono municipalities, he said.
He also said the Department of Urban Roads had completed another 75km of town roads in Ashanti, including Bekwai town roads, Kwamo town Roads, Manhyia toads (Buokrom) and Ejisu/Kwaso town roads.
“The Department of Feeder Roads has also completed the upgrading of 68km of selected feeder roads in the Ashanti and the Western regions, undertaken by M/S Sinohydro Corporation,” he said.
Additionally, there was the upgrading of the 49-km Asankare-Krofa-Juansa road and the Krofa-Brantuokrom-Magyeda road, the upgrading of 40.3-km Amantema Junction-Wiawso-Senkye road and the reconstruction of the 30-km Anwiankwanta-Obuasi road, which is 90 per cent complete, and due for completion by the end of this year, he said.
Furthermore, President Akufo-Addo said the upgrading of the 3-km Denkyenmuoso area roads and asphaltic overlay of Hill Top roads was 57 per cent complete.
He said work was ongoing on the Kumasi Roads and Drainage Extension Project, with about 97 per cent of works completed.
He mentioned the works involved to include the upgrading of the Lake Road into a dual carriageway from the Coca Cola Bottling Plant to Dompoase, covering 3.5km, and the lining of the Sesan River for 2km.
“The construction of a modern terminal at Dompoase, which is part of the project, has been completed and inaugurated. It is expected that the entire project will be completed and inaugurated by the end of the year. The works are being undertaken by M/S China Henan International Corporation (CHICO) and funded by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) of France,” he said.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, urged the contractors on the Suame Interchange to put measures in place to manage the traffic till the project was completed .
He further appealed to the residents to bear with the government for the inconveniences that they might experience during the construction period.
The minister also asked the contractors to give preference to local artisans when employing people for the project.
Earlier on Monday, the President had inspected work on the Maternity and Children’s Block of the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) and Phase II of the Kejetia Redevelopment Project.
The KATH project was awarded on contract in May 2020 when the original structure, which had been abandoned for more than 40 years, was demolished because of structural defects.
The project consultant, Nana Abu-Bonsra, told the President that about 60 per cent of the work was completed.
He said the new design had eight floors, 22 consulting rooms, three group consulting rooms and two consulting rooms for emergency cases.
When completed, he said, the new Maternity and Children’s Block would have three auditoriums, five seminar rooms and a bed capacity of 506.
Phase II of Kejetia Market
The project consultant of Phase II of the Kejetia Redevelopment Project, Simon Awuah, told the President that about 49 per cent of the work had been completed and the contractors had up to June 2024 to hand over the project.
He, however, said he was in talks with the contractor to fast-track the project, so that it could be completed by February 2024.
He said since the project was a pre-engineered structure, “it must be maintained very well”.
“And we have defects liability of one year, so we need to start implementing the location of the traders, so that when there is an issue, it can be resolved before the defects liability period elapses,” he said.
Mr Awuah suggested that the employer start discussions with the traders, so that after the completion, they could move in before the liability period elapsed.
Addressing the traders, the President assured them that all those who had been relocated due to the reconstruction of the market would be taken care of.
He said the contractors had assured him that the project would be completed within schedule to enable them to move in and ply their trade.
He asked them to channel all their grievances through his representatives in the region for him to address them.
President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the important role the Ashanti Region played in his re-election and pledged not to abandon the region.
Source: Graphic Online