President John Mahama on Monday inaugurated the newly constructed Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange in Accra, noting Ghana’s economy lost about 100 million dollars annually due to traffic congestion that previously characterised the area.
“Experts estimate the congestion that used to be created here as the result of the heavy traffic and lack of traffic flow resulted in an estimated loss of about a 100 million per annum to our national economy,” President Mahama said.
With the inauguration of the 1.2-kilometre long interchange from the Ring Road Central to Feo Oyo, around the Awudome Cemetery, travelling time has been reduced from about two hours to five minutes between that stretch.
Inaugurating the interchange and other ancillary projects, the President described the entire project as “iconic” that is set to stimulate business activities in the area and invigorate the economy to change the lives of the people.
The 1.2km long viaduct has a ramp down from the Ring Road Central area to the Feo Oyo road towards the North Industrial Area and another ramp from the Feo Oyo towards the Ring Road Central. The flyovers have three lanes on either sides one of which is an exclusive lane for the Bus Rapid Transit System.The project also has a beautiful memorial garden and water park equipped with a dancing fountain inspired by Dubai’s iconic dancing fountain . The fountain surrounds an imposing statue of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
As part of the project which started on October 28, 2013, a Police Post and a Fire Service Station have been built.
President Mahama who has touted rapid infrastructural development as one of the key achievements of his government, expressed delight that the completion of the project would facilitate easy movement of goods and services as well as free flow of emergency services.
“Time is a precious invaluable commodity and once spent cannot be recovered . Effective use of time have direct impact on our economy and must be calculated as a contribution of our GDP,” he said
“What has been done here is not just a modern interchange aiding free flow of vehicles. Several important components have also been added to make this historic intersection a convenient place for tourism,” he added.
He described the interchange as “the longest flyover and the highest flyover in West Africa”.
“The reaction of ordinary users of this interchange shows clearly that it has brought relief to the motoring public and completely removed one of the most frustrating bottlenecks in our road network in Accra,” President Mahama said.
He has meanwhile urged the Department of Urban Roads under the Ministry of Transport to ensure that the flyovers are well-maintained at all times in order to achieve its maximum lifespan.
Touching on other ongoing road infrastructural development, President Mahama revealed the Kasoa Interchange and its ancillary works have reached an advanced stage, noting the main flyover is set to be opened to traffic before the end of December this year.
He said his government continues to work hard to change the lives of Ghanaians and transform Ghana, indicating that similar projects will be carried out across the country, and that funds have been secured for the Pokuase Interchange to commence soon.
“We’ve got the money; Parliament has approved the loan and before the end of my first term in office we will cut the sod for work to start on this particular interchange.
Dualisation of roads
President Mahama also said a number of major trunk roads have been identified for dualisation under his second term in office.
“In my second term in office, I have expressed the intention to dualise completely, the road from Accra to Kumasi. We have also identified the Accra-Cape Coast- Takoradi road for dualisation and we are going to dulaise the Tema-Afienya road and the Tema Roundabout – Dawhenya road,” he revealed.
He also added: “We will also build a new interchange at the Tema Roundabout to ease the congestion on the motorway. We are going to expand the Accra -Tema Motorway to a six lane motorway so that we ease congestion on the motorway”.
He said the massive road expansion work will not only be in Accra but in other parts of the country.
According to the President, infrastructure sector under his government in the last four years has generated over 4,000 jobs.
He said the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange project alone created 1000s of direct and indirect jobs, and expressed optimism that is opening would further create more jobs as a result of the trade and economic activity that will resurrect.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana