Joe Gidisu addressing the press

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Joe Gidisu has revealed that government has signed an agreement with the Brazilian government to construct a 3-tier vehicular interchange at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra.

He said the project, which will cost $100,000,000, will commence in 2013 for a period of 24 months.

Mr. Gidisu, who made this known at the meet-the-press series in Accra, said the first flyover would direct traffic from ring road central to ring road west. He added that in the opposite direction, an underpass has been proposed with two lanes of traffic.

According to the minister, the second flyover connects the Akasanoma road and the ring road west, indicating that both proposed flyovers were two-lane unidirectional roadways.

Mr. Gidisu said the middle tier was a roundabout and all other movements were streamed to the roundabout. ?Facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and persons with disabilities will also be provided,? he added.

He said a key component of the interchange was the provision of green strips and verges to serve as noise barriers that will reduce the level of noise pollution from vehicles and serve as a carbon sink also for aesthetics.

Mr. Gidisu said government has made budgetary provision for compensation payments to affected properties within the project vicinity, stating that the contractor for the project is M/s Queiroz Galvao Construcao of Brazil.

Touching on the ministry?s performance from 2009 to 2012, he said the ministry maintained its focus on routine and periodic maintenance activities to protect the huge investment made by government in the provision of the road infrastructure.

He also added that as at the end of September 2012, routine maintenance had been undertaken on 7,495.5km of the truck road network; 8,500km on the feeder road network; and on the urban road network 945km of upgrading works and pothole patching.

However, he said the ministry was confronted with a lot of challenges which include delay in the receipt of approvals from donor agencies, inability to raise enough revenue from other sources to support road maintenance programme and delays in the release of funds for goods and services.

Mr. indicated that the ministry had adopted a number of interventions to address some of the challenges which include progressively reducing upgrading works in the road fund budget, exploring private sector financing of road projects and terminating non-performing projects funded by the road fund and government consolidated fund.

He said payment of compensation to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) has been critical in the implementation of major road projects under the ministry, saying ?it usually constitutes a significant part of the total project cost.?

Mr. Gidisu noted that ?there is an impression that government is reneging on payment of compensation to the Projects Affected Persons as required by the 1992 Constitution.?

This, he said, was not true but government was committed to the settlement of all compensation to eligible beneficiaries.

By Cephas Larbi

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