General News of Wednesday, 23 January 2013
The Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Development Authority (MIDA), Martin Eson-Benjamin has admitted failure to properly site footbridges on the George Walker Bush Highway (N1 Highway).
He told Joy News on Tuesday that not enough was done by his outfit in terms of survey, leading to, in some cases, misplaced footbridges on the 14.1 Km three-lane dual carriageway. The road has six footbridges, 13 bus bays and 23 minor junctions.
Barely a year after the inauguration of the highway in February 2012, numerous accidents have occurred on it, claiming over 70 lives – many were pedestrians crossing the road.
Many residents who felt the footbridges were inconveniently placed preferred using seconds to cross the highway to walking minutes to use the nearest football bridge, a decision which has claimed some lives.
An 11 year girl was on Monday killed instantly after she was knocked down by a speeding car when she was crossing the Lapaz section of the N1 Highway to school.
Martin Eson-Benjamin admitted: “I think that enough survey has been made now for everybody to know exactly which area needs a footbridge because when we were doing it initially we were not very, very sure where to put the footbridges.”
City authorities say more bridges would be constructed to safeguard pedestrians. But MIDA would not play a part in the construction; Martin Eson-Benjamin explained that the project has been handed over to the Ghana Highway Authority.
Meanwhile, metal mesh is being constructed to divide the six lane road to make it difficult, if not impossible, for people to cross the highway.
Mayor of Accra, Alfred Vanderpuye told Joy News, “What I have noticed is that at certain points spaces have been left in between, and sometimes individual or collective of persons are attempted to go through that small space. So at our last meeting I have instructed that those small spaces must also be covered.”
He confirmed that they have earmarked about 10 footbridges to be constructed at various points.