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Business News of Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Source: goldstreetbusiness.com

3 major road projects started without feasibility data


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The use of preliminary, rather than full data by the Ghana Highways Authority to undertake construction of road projects continues to result in delays in project completion and increases their execution cost.

This was revealed in the performance audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General on selected roads in the country.

Three road projects constructed between 2012 and 2019 were selected for this audit, all executed under a contractor design and build arrangement. They are the East Legon – Spintex Road Underpass, Eastern Corridor Road Project Lots 5 and 6 and the Oil and Gas Enclave roads which were under implementation from 2014 to 2019 by the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA).

The report noted that GHA did not compile complete feasibility data on the roads to aid in reviews of the project designs presented by contractors. In view of this, GHA approved preliminary designs which were not sufficiently detailed enough for the three projects to commence.

“GHA approved preliminary designs for the projects to commence, but detailed designs were prepared during project implementation that resulted in significant changes to the original scope. This partly contributed to an increase in project duration and cost. In some instances, GHA eliminated items in the original scope to keep within a fixed budget,” the report stated.

However, detailed designs were provided during implementation which resulted in significant changes to the original project scope. This resulted in significant variations, as well as increase in project duration and project budget.

Contractors and Consultants were either sole sourced or selected through restrictive tendering partly due to lack of proper planning of the projects.

Between December 31, 2012 and January 1, 2018, a total amount of about GH¢ 8.24 billion was spent on construction of new roads and upgrading of old roads. Despite the investments in the road sector, drivers and passengers alike are worried about the constant deterioration of roads, just months after they have been completed and handed over by contractors.

East Legon to Spintex Road Tunnel project

Although GHA ensured adherence to specification on the East Legon to Spintex Road Tunnel project, the project had scope changes during implementation due to the lack of traffic studies, as a feasibility study was not carried out on the project.

By extension, the contractor requested for an extra six months of the project completion time to enable the execution of changes GHA introduced on the Project.

Eastern Corridor road project

The Eastern Corridor road project was commenced with preliminary designs which eventually resulted in variations and a reduction of the project length by 41.3km. The project, which was scheduled to be completed on November 4, 2016 was 76 percent complete at the time of the audit.

As a result, the Ministry of Roads and Highways compensated the contractor with US$ 23,762,165.35 and a 21 months extension due to delays in payment.

Oil and Gas Enclave road project

The Oil and Gas Enclave road project also commenced without detailed feasibility and engineering studies which resulted in delay of the project and cost overruns.

The project was delayed due to variations, compensation of project affected persons, relocation of utilities and claims for delay in payment upon completion

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