One of the statutes of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS), is the movement of people, goods and services across the sub-region and to facilitate this, the Regional Group came up with the construction of a trans-national highway, to link the twelve (12) West African Coastal nations, spanning Mauritania to Nigeria.
It is a 4560-kilomer project, with funding from the African Development Bank (ADR). The Cape Coast-Accra-Togo highway and the 31km-Akatsi-Dzodze road are part of this highway project.
Inspite of Ghana’s effort to fulfill this dream, the Kasoa Cape Coast leg of the highway continues to be a commuter route nightmare.
Kasoa- originally called Odupong Kpehe – is a nodal town, lying on the Accra – Cape Coast highway. Depending on the direction from which one gets there, one comes across the Nyanyano outlet on the left/right hand side, and the Bawjiase outlet on the right/left hand direction, with the highway cutting through it.
Traffic lights are installed at this convergence, and ensure the orderly movement of vehicles, pedestrians and other motorists. But hell breaks loose anytime the lights go off, with everybody claiming the right of way.
Kasoa is also a hub of commerce and trade. People from all over congregate to transact various businesses.
As part of the greater trans-national ECOWAS highway, the Kasoa intersection is said to be the most terrible traffic congestion spot on the Accra -Cape Coast stretch. Travel therefore becomes a nightmare and may result in economic losses, and high vehicle operating cost.
The problem could also be attributed to the toll booth at the Tuba junction which hold traffic at given periods and release them en masse, only to slow down at Kasoa, in the heavy build-up.
Recognizing the ordeal motorists go through to traverse this stretch of road, Accra-Cape Coast – Takoradi, there is a proposal to build an interchange at Kasoa to solve the traffic jams, which characterize the town, with which users of the road are fed up. It would relieve them of the nightmare and anxiety of getting to their destinations, and within time, too.
• Under the project, three interchanges would be constructed at
• The main Kasoa Traffic light
• Galilea/Iron City, to link Iron City with Amanfrom. Drivers would consequently hit Amanfrom, without doing U turns on the highway.
Universal/CP junction to link the area with the Opeikuma area on the outskirts of Kasoa.
To give the existing highway a breather, the Iron City –Universal/CP junction stretch, convening six kilometers, would be widened, and converted into a three-lane dual carriageway with slip roads and ramps.
Other concomitants are.
• The construction of 20 kilometers of roads within Kasoa and the adjoining Ga South Municipality. This would be a boom for such settlements as Amanfrom, Amanform Top town, Galilea, Iron city, Tuba, Kasoa itself, and Nyanyano. Commuters would move freely from each of these towns to the other without using the highway.
• The construction of the 33-Kilometer Amasaman-Ashalaja-Oboom road into an asphaltic road, with a bridge across the Densu River, as convenient alternative for commuters to Kasoa, from the said areas, and beyond.
All these would give Kasoa a new lease of life and eliminate the terrible traffic congestion and in essence reduce travel time, and boost trade and commerce in the emerging metropolis.
The interchange project is estimated to cost US$172.6million, and takes off next December. It would be undertaken by Messrs Queiroz Galvao of Brazil, in the spirit of South-South Cooperation. It is funded by a credit facility agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Deutsche Bank of New York and its affiliates.
Queiroz Galvao has the enviable record of undertaking heavy contracts in the road, oil and gas and hydroelectric power sectors. In Brazil, it is part of the consortium constructing the world’s third largest hydroelectric power plant in the remote Amazonia area, to serve over 60 million consumers.
In Ghana, Queiroz Galvao is working on the Tamale Airport Expansion, in Accra, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, on which work is progressing steadily.
It has already done the required environmental impact of the project on the people with its heavy equipment, and work according to schedule.
As stated elsewhere, upon completion of the project, travel time would reduce.
• The perennial floods which hit Kasoa would be over.
• Pedestrian Crossings would be marked out clearly, to avoid knock-downs and other fatal accidents.
• It would facilitate the smooth running of the envisaged Bus Rapid Transport System (BRT) between Accra and Kasoa.
• The status of Kasoa would be enhanced, with a new Polyclinic, four schools, each with 36 classrooms to help eliminate the shift system and ten mechanized boreholes for the adjunct communities with challenges with water.
What else can we say or do other than to look out eagerly to the interchange, which would transform cosmopolitan Kasoa into a city of the 21st century?