Regional News of Thursday, 21 February 2013
Source: Daily Graphic
Consultants working on the GHC99.86 million Sofoline Interchange-Abuakwa dual carriageway project have hinted that they would be unable to fully complete the project by the July 31, 2013 deadline.
According to the consultants, the undue delay by government in the payments of the Interim Payment Certificate to the contractor and the outstanding compensation to affected property owners along the road are the main factors affecting smooth constructional works since the project started six years ago.
Briefing the Daily Graphic on the challenges undermining the early completion of the Sofoline Interchange-Abuakwa road project, the Deputy Resident Engineer, Mr Frank Kofi Yankey, noted that since the challenges confronting them were yet to be fully addressed, “there would be sectional handing over of the project to government on July 31, 2013.”
He explained that since all affected property owners had not received their compensations, construction works would be carried out only in areas where compensation had been fully paid.
He indicated that construction works were ongoing at portions at Kwadaso, Asuoyeboah and Tanoso because affected property owners had received their compensation from government.
Such areas, Mr Yankey noted, would be completed and handed over to government by the July deadline, leaving the other portions where government was yet to satisfy property owners regarding the requisite compensations.
He said affected property owners around North Suntreso, Bekwai Roundabout and Bantama were yet to receive their compensation, so construction works would be delayed in such areas.
He indicated that property owners beyond the Tanoso township were also yet to receive their compensation to pave way for smooth construction works to begin.
The Sofoline Interchange-Abuakwa road project, which is an 11-kilometre asphaltic concrete paved six lanes dual carriageway road, also includes associated drains and the construction of an underpass at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) roundabout.
The project, with an initial estimated contract price of GH¢73 million which started in August 1, 2007, with a constructional period of 36 months, also included the construction of five underpasses at selected intersections, as well as the relocation of schools in affected project areas, and the relocation of utility services such as water, telephones and electric cables, pipes and poles that were affected.
However, as a result of an 18-month extension granted to the contractor—Messrs China Geo Engineering Corporation — by the employer, which took effect from August 2010 at an estimated revised contract price of GHC99,869,953.87, the revised constructional period was changed to 54 months.
Mr Yankey noted that as a result of delayed payment of certificates which led to the suspension of works by the contractor for almost nine months in 2011, the employer granted an additional 18-month extension, pushing the completion period to July 31, 2013.
Commenting on the public sentiments about the undue delay of the project, especially the massive vehicular and human traffic on the road, with associated delays that had undermined revenue generation since the project started in 2007, as well as the number of potholes spread across the road, Mr Yankey said under the present circumstances, they were doing their best.
He said because of the challenges confronting them, they again suspended construction works for two months between November and December last year.
He said notwithstanding the fact that construction works had started in earnest, it was concentrated at areas that compensations had been fully paid.
He said 73 per cent of construction works involving the Sofoline Interchange bridge, construction of the requisite drains, relocation of schools and utilities had already been completed.
Conducting the Daily Graphic around the Sofoline Interchange bridge which has already been opened to traffic, Mr Yankey said following the completion of the interchange, attention would be focused on the asphalting of selected areas.
On the numerous potholes that had developed in areas where construction works were yet to begin, Mr Yankey said they would fill and patch such areas and also patch links roads to reduce incidents of vehicular accidents and breakdowns.
He also gave an assurance that they would water the road to control the dust that was creating problems for residents along the road.