According to the contractors, parts of the first phase of the project will be opened in the next three weeks to ease traffic during the Christmas period.
In an interview with the radio station, Resident Engineer for the project, Ing Kwabena Bempong said it has become necessary for them to reopen the roads to traffic due to the massive traffic anticipated during the season.
“We want to reduce the impact of the road works on the public, especially when we are getting so close to the yuletide and elections. We don’t want to have challenges with pedestrians and motorists, and also ensure that they have a smooth ride and have a good experience of the Pokuase Interchange. We are hoping that before the end of this month – so in the next three weeks – this section will be completed and opened to the public,” he revealed in the interview.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Roads and Highway has given approval for the extension of the completion date of the project.
In August 2019, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assured the project will be completed in 2021.
But Ing. Kwabena Bempong has said the deadline set by the president cannot be met and that April 2021 is a more realistic target.
He explained that the pace of work has been slowed by the coronavirus pandemic as some components of the interchange which had to be shipped were delayed.
“The new extension date is April 4, 2021. The reason for the extension is to give enough room for the massive drainage works to ensure that we do not have flooding after the project is completed. We have the Ayawaso drains and others, almost 5km of storm drains. We are also to provide terminals for trotro and taxis. We have sent a proposal to the Ministry to include such facilities in our project so there will be no challenge after the project is completed.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic also slowed down the work. Most of the materials needed to execute the project delayed in arriving because of the strict lockdown in China in the early days of the pandemic. The pandemic also affected human resources as some contractors expected to come down from China were unable to do so,” he added.
The $94 million project being funded by the government of Ghana and the African Development Bank.
The project is being undertaken by Zhongmei Engineering Group Limited, with Messrs Associated Consultants Limited (ACON) and the Bigen Group.