Road Minister In Trouble Over Inflated

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East Legon Spintex Tunnel Cost

Tongues have been sent wagging over the cost of the two-lane tunnel road built under the Accra-Tema Motorway to link East Legon and the Spintex Road in Accra.

President Akufo-Addo, performed the ceremony to mark the official opening of the road over the weekend, but the GH¢25.3 million price tag put on it as the cost of the project is attracting some scrutiny from industry players, who argue the country did not get value for money.

The Herald, was told the project was initially billed to have cost half the amount the government has mentioned, implying the GH¢25.3 million cost of the tunnel has been inflated by the government and officials of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), in the award of the project.

In July last year, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, during a tour announced that another tunnel would be constructed to ease the vehicular traffic for motorists on that route, adding a reasonable amount of money, had been earmarked for the project to be executed in six months.

“Within the next six months, I have directed the team to create a second tunnel, so that there will be continuous flow of traffic, instead of the current alternating flow that we are experiencing. Once we have the two systems in place, this traffic that occurs, will be a thing of the past,” the Minister said, skipping the cost and contractor on the project.

Details of the contractor who worked on the 8.5-meter wide tunnel are difficult to find. The Herald is yet to come across any competitive tender process which led to their selection. Indeed, some have said that the project was under sole-sourcing, leaving room for queries about value for money.

The project, funded from the Ghana Road Fund, involved widening of the existing single lane tunnel into two lanes to accommodate huge traffic volumes, improve the capacity and efficiency of the East Legon and Spintex intersection.

Added to this, is the installation of the lighting system for a pedestrian safety corridor.

President Akufo-Addo, said it symbolized the road modernization programme being rolled out to make the roads safe for the people.

Such tunnels were going to become an integral part of all road planning and construction, especially where highways passed through towns and villages and where multi-level interchange and connections would not be feasible.

He said, the decision to grow green grass and trees around the tunnel to protect the environment from noise and air pollution was refreshing.

“This green environment will be replicated in adjoining communities around the Tema Interchange Project; a clear departure from the proliferation of the billboards we see around the vicinity of such projects.”

The President, urged motorists and users of the tunnel to adhere to traffic management regulations put in place for the safety and convenience of everybody.

He applauded the people for their patience during the construction period, adding that, the provision of quality roads was an important tool for socio-economic development.

He repeated his government’s determination to go to every length to expand and improve the road network.

More to come!

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