President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Friday commissioned Phase One of the Tema Interchange Project.
It is made up of a two-tier intersection, a tunnel in the East-West direction, four kilometres of improved roads, four pedestrian bridges, one at each approach to the intersection, and the presence of several drainage structures.
The project was financed by a grant secured from the Japanese government in March 2017 to the tune of ¥6 billion or $56 million.
The grant aid for implementation of Phase One of the project was negotiated and signed in March 2017, with construction commencing in February 2018 and work completed in June 2020.
Describing the commissioning of the project as “an excellent day in the life of Tema”, the President noted that for many years, residents living in and around the Tema Metropolis and motorists have had to endure the inconvenience of unbearable traffic and a poor road network when traversing the then Rotary Intersection.
Ease in traffic
The completion of the project, according to President Akufo-Addo, is a welcome development, especially as the upsurge of vehicular traffic, coupled with rapidly increasing urban population, put a lot of pressure on facilities in the cities, especially on road infrastructure, sapping productivity.
“We made a pledge to the Ghanaian people to expand and improve the road network, while closing the missing links in the network. We had to make this pledge because we knew that the so-called ‘unprecedented infrastructure development’ of the Mahama administration was fantasy, existing in the ‘Green Book’, and not on the ground,” he said.
The President continued, “We know that the provision of quality road infrastructure is an important tool for the socio-economic development of our country, and Government will ensure the even spread of such projects across the country.”
Phase Two of the project is scheduled to commence in the last quarter of this year. The President said that will see the transformation of the current two-tier interchange into a three-tier one, and hasten further the turnaround time at the intersection.
Other projects, which are in the pipeline of this enclave, include the construction of the 64.4-kilometre Ashaiman Roundabout to Akosombo Junction road (N2), at a cost of Two Hundred and Fifty-six Million Euros. The project will see the current single carriageway of the Akosombo road expanded into a multi-lane dual carriageway, service roads, construction of interchanges at the Ashaiman Roundabout, and the Asutsuare junction.
Others include the dualisation of the 17-kilometre Tema to Aflao road. The project is expected to cost $105million, and will tie into the Trans-African Highway Project from Lagos to Abidjan. The current two-lane dual carriageway will be expanded into three-lane carriageway per each direction and the expansion of the Accra–Tema Motorway into a three-lane dual carriageway, with service roads, under a Public Private Partnership arrangement.
More projects to take off
The President added that evaluation has been completed and government is awaiting approval from the Public Private Partnership Approval Committee of the Ministry of Finance to engage the contractor.
“The economic benefits of these and many other trunk roads being undertaken by the Ghana Highways Authority, the Department of Urban Roads and the Department of Feeder Roads will be immense. Government is committed to the successful completion of all the projects, and I urge the Ministry of Roads and Highways to see to their expeditious completion,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The President cautioned motorists to be extra careful and disciplined on the highways, and resist the temptation of over-speeding, adding that “better roads should be a catalyst for national development, and not instruments of death and pain.”