The dual carriageway from Gyan-krom, near Nsawam, to Apedwa Nkwanta remains uncompleted – in spite of the Road Minister giving assurances that construction would be finished last year, 2020.
The 60-kilometre highway has, thus, been under construction for as many as 14 years– as the job started way back in 2006 when John Agyekum Kufuor was President.
Weeks before President Atta Mills passed on, he toured the project and engineers there assured him one lane of the dual carriageway would be completed and opened for use before the Christmas of 2012.
Both lanes remained uncompleted throughout the next four-and-half years under President John Mahama; and, it was not until 2019 that one lane was somewhat completed for public use.
On an enquiry into why the long delay, Adom News Reporter Prince Owusu returned to the issue two years ago.
Roads and Transport Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, disclosed to our reporter that – at the time – the Ghana government owed the contractors, the China Water and Electrical Construction Limited US$45million.
In that interview, Minister Amoako-Atta firmly promised Ghanaians that government would pay the outstanding contract cost by July ending of 2019.
After that debt settlement, he further assured the contractors would return to duty and fully complete the entire 60 kilometres – the two lanes of the road span – latest by end of last year, 2020. In his exact words, “Ghanaians will see a dual carriage road from Nsawam to Kumasi…”
The restart of the construction was fixed for 23rd August, 2019. So, Reporter Prince Owusu toured the Nsawam – Apedwa Nkwanta section of the Accra to Kumasi Highway and, indeed, met the China Water and Electrical Construction Company on site.
On this tour, the reporter found people living along the road to Apedwa and other road users in high hopes seeing the contractors had returned to complete the job and bring them relief from dust, difficulty in travelling and other challenges.
The high hopes of residents, pedestrians, commuters, drivers and other road users seem dashed now, however; as one whole lane remains undone and the other done improperly.
Touring the entire stretch of the road on 30th December 2020 left our News Crew in no doubt that the contractors had stopped work again. Not a single earth-moving machine or road-worker was in sight. One lane remained in several parts as bushy as it had been two years ago.
At Asuboi in the Ayensuano District, stones the contractors had milled for the building of the dual carriageway had been stuck in the middle of the road so long that a forest of shrubs had grown on them.
This is a turn-key project that is expected to expedite road transport – not only into Ghana’s hinterland – but also to neighbouring Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and beyond.
The vision of President Agyekum Kufuor in 2006 was to start dualising the road from Accra to Kumasi to ease the rampant traffic jams. The first phase was from Achimota, Accra, to Gyan-krom, near Nsawam. The second phase, which is from Gyan-krom to Apedwa Nkwanta, is the section that is taking like forever.
One lane on the Nsawam – Apedwa Nkwanta stretch, which is supposed to be completed is sick at birth. The asphalt surface ceiling, which is supposed to last for about 20years, has started peeling off. In many parts, the road is bumpy. At such places as Teacher Mantey, Kyekyewere, Fianko, Niifio, Kabu Hill, and Apedwa Nkwanta the less than two years old road is deteriorating fast.
In some other sections, road markings are fading away, drains are either choked or left weedy, and shoulders of the road are fast being eaten away by erosions.
Our reporter also captured on camera the Suhum Roundabout fencing, drains and culverts getting spoilt fast.
The Team picked the minds of road users on the issue.
They described the situation as bad and called on Government to immediately do reverse the decay.
Reached for his comment, a consultant on the road construction, who pleaded anonymity, told our reporter on phone that Government still owes the contractors. That explains why the contractors have decamped again!