As Gov’t Reveals Massively Inflated Road Contracts Prices, Gives Details On Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Kasoa Interchanges & Others
Attempt by the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) pressure group, Alliance for Accountable Governances’ (AFAG), to tagged President John Dramani Mahama with corruption has backfired, with ex-President John Kufuor and his beloved Road Transport Minister, Dr. Richard Winfred Anane, being the biggest casualties.
A damning document from the Department of Urban Roads which The Herald has intercepted, reveals the sorry state of affairs under the Kufuor regime with respect to road construction, particularly the Tetteh Quarshie to Appenkwa Interchange, Appenkwa to Mallam Junction, Lapaz –Nyamekye- Kwashieman – Santa Maria roads.
The three-page document, suggested the inflation prices of these road projects in the Kufuor era. In one particular instance, a 5.3 kilometre road, which was priced at US$23 million, after completion, came up to a whopping US$59.4million.
It is not clear, whether the over bloated cost has something to do with the kickbacks collection that manifested itself under the Kufuor regime, with claims by onetime NPP National Chairman, Haruna Esseku, that President Kufuor collected kickbacks from contractors during his presidency at the Seat of government, the Osu Castle.
The document, also offered details explanation on the scope of work on Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, Kasoa Interchange and the Ring Road Flyover and its accompanying ancillary works.
AFAG, on Wednesday held a demonstration dubbed “Aagbe W)” [They are killing us], claiming corruption against the Mahama administration in the area of inflation of the cost of road projects.
Ahead of the NPP-AFAG demonstration, a press conference was held at the Obra Spot in Accra, near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, where the Chairman of AFAG, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, described President Mahama as “opportunistic,” with a government that was killing Ghanaians.
He claimed that “the interchange out there, when we are struggling, the cost of this project originally is €46million but we are being made to understand its €78million. The approved and new interchange at Kasoa to cost $174million whilst the experts say it cost only $32million, mass corruption all over.”
However, it has emerged that the construction of the 14km N1 highway, cost the Ghanaian taxpayer more than originally budgeted for by the Kufuor government.
For instance “Lot1: Construction of Tetteh Quarshie to Appenkwa Interchange which is 5.3km was put at the cost of US$23 million, but “cost after completion was US$59.4million”.
Again, “Lot 2: Construction of Road between Appenkwa to Mallam Junction which is 8.3km, had an “Initial Project Cost: US$83.7million” but “Cost after completion: US$ 127.5 million”.
The Department of Urban Roads, revealed the total cost of the N1 after completion, was US$187 million “….exclusive of the cost of relocation which was 57.6million Ghana Cedis an equivalent of US$ 42.4 million”. Hence, “the total cost of the construction of the N1 is US$ 219 million”.
It noted that, despite the huge amount, it was found out that there was no provision for “adequate signage on the road, side roads are yet to be developed, this include Lapaz, Nyamekye, Kwashieman, Santa Maria, etc. Additional works will have to be done by GOG to include the safety issues, the interchanges, etc”.
But in the case of the construction of Kasoa Interchange and other related Works – Scope of Work include, the “Construction of three no interchanges on the main Accra- Cape Coast Road at the Main Kasoa Traffic Lights, Galilee/Iron City to link Iron City into Amanfrom, without doing U Turns on the main road and Universal/CP junction to link Universal to the Opeikuma Area in Kasoa.
The US$174million Kasoa Interchange, will also lead to the “Widening of main Accra Cape Coast road between Iron City and Universal a distance of 6km to three lane dual carriageway, with slip roads and ramps”.
The same amount, will take care of the “Construction of Amasaman-Ashalaja-Oboom Road a distance of 33km into asphaltic concrete road with a bridge across the river Densu, to replace the current bailey bridge. The construction of the Amasaman Road will provide an alternate road to NSAWAM and eastern parts of Accra. The same route will provide a convenient alternative for commuters to Kasoa from the eastern parts of Accra, Nsawam and beyond”.
“Construction of 20km of roads within Kasoa and Ga South. This is necessary to provide critical access for communities within Amanfrom, Amanfrom Top, Galilea, Iron
City, Tuba, Kasoa and Nyanyanor. These access roads will improve accessibility for the communities without coming onto the main Kasoa road”, the document said.
“Construction of critical drainage systems in Kasoa and Ga South as well as “Construction of a two storey new Polyclinic for Kasoa to replace the small one located close to the Kasoa Traffic Lights. This polyclinic will have an OPD, Doctor’s Consulting rooms, pharmacy, an intensive care unit, etc”.
The US$174million will as ensure the “Construction of 4 no 36 unit schools to help eliminate the shift system in schools within the Kasoa and Ga South Communities adding, it is also to ensure the “Provision of 10 no mechanized boreholes for selected communities that have challenges with GWCL distribution system”.
It will as see the “Construction of BRT Transport Terminal in Kasoa”.
In the case of the 78million Euros Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, “the project is targeted at addressing the perennial congestion at the Nkrumah Circle. This is attributable to the capacity of the Circle being exceeded since 1999. The plethora of transport terminals around the Circle have a contributory impact on the congestion. The Odaw Bridge close to the circle is old and easily overtops during heavy downpours. The railway crossing also has a contributory effect to the congestion at Circle”.
It explained that “the solution looked at various options and settled on the options including the Grade separate the intersections that connect into the Nkrumah Circle. There are five roads that connect into the Circle; this include; Akasanoma and Nsawam Roads, Nkrumah Avenue, Ring Road Central and Ring Road West.
“The Akasanoma/Nsawam Road and Nsawam/Nkrumah Avenue Roads first level grade separated interchange. Main through traffic is being grade separated to allow pedestrian traffic to use the ground level, where pelican traffic lights shall be provided to improve pedestrian safety”.
“The Ring Roads will be constructed as third tier interchanges. This will reduce the impact of the railway line on traffic flow on the Ring Road, because the road will be above the railway”.
The “Construction of three bridges across the Odaw River. The heights of the bridges are such that they can allow small boats to use the Odaw River in future and reduce the incidence of flooding anytime there is a heavy downpour. Two of the bridges shall replace the existing two bridges that are old and structurally not sound. The third bridge shall link the Odawna bridge to the Neoplan Station and allow the trotros direct access to Avenor, etc”.
The 78million Euros Construction is in two stages, that is a. “the Construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange and, b. Construction of Ring Road Flyover and ancillary works”.
Giving detail description of the Construction of Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the document said the “Length of bridges and ramps -440m. The bridge type is a steel-composite bridge. This allows for ease of construction and longer spans of about 40m can be used, instead of concrete structures which have to be 20m. The disruption to traffic flow at circle will have been worse than was experienced at the Mallam intersection during the construction of the N1.
Number of piles sunk -560. Each pile was sunk about 14m in depth. Width of bridges- 12m. and the Construction of Road between Ring Road Central to the Ring Road West for about 3km into a 3 lane dual carriageway.
There will be the “widening of the Feo Oyo Road, between the Ghanaian Times junction to TV Africa into a 2 lane dual carriageway”.
While the “Section of the Ring Road shall be recycled for the construction purposes, instead of excavation throwing away the material and bringing new material for the construction. Other roads to be rehabilitated include the Kente Street, Akasanoma Road and Farrar Avenue”.
The document also mentioned the construction of a US$170 million Ring Road Flyover from Faanofaa Overpass- FEO OYO with ancillary works.
The length of bridges and ramps- 1200m of bridges constructed. The width of the bridges is 24m. This is to make provision for future Bus Rapid Transit Lanes in future. The BRT is expected to be constructed on the Ring Road and the Kaneshie- Mallam Road.
There shall be the “Construction of 3 bridges across the Odaw River. With number of piles sunk to be 2000, the construction of terminals- The Odawna and Neoplan Stations shall be rehabilitated as has been done at Achimota”.
“Space under the bridges on the roads, ie the Akasanoma, Nsawam and Ring Road bridges is being designed as valuable urban space. As part of the project, a police post, ambulance station and fire service post shall be provided. However, the Acrra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is to collaborate with other private sector players to manage the rest of the space below the bridges”.