Contractors on the four-tier Pokuase Interchange project are confident of opening sections of the interchange to traffic in the next three weeks.
According to them, the selected portions are under the first phase of the project.
This follows the Ministry of Roads and Highways’ approval of a proposal by the contractors for an extension in the completion date to April 2021 .
In an interview with Citi News, Resident Engineer for the project, Ing Kwabena Bempong said the initial phase of the project has become necessary to ease traffic during the yuletide.
“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.”
The $94 million project is expected to ease traffic congestion, improve urban mobility, and benefit agro-industries located within the project zone.
The government is jointly funding the project with the African Development Bank.
The project is being undertaken by Zhongmei Engineering Group Limited, with Messrs Associated Consultants Limited (ACON) and the Bigen Group.
Completion date extended to April 2021
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on August 2, 2019, assured that the project will be completed in 2020 .
However, the Resident Engineer of the Pokuase interchange, Ing. Kwabena Bempong has indicated that the contractors cannot meet the projected date explaining that “the new extension date is April 4, 2021.”
He added that “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 Resident Engineer also indicated that work on the project was affected by the coronavirus pandemic which resulted in a delay of the shipment of some critical components for the interchange.
“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.