The Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, has charged the Department of Urban Roads to maintain the roads under their jurisdiction well especially the medians.
He noted that the condition and state of most highway road medians was so bad and appalling that “sometimes I wonder if it’s the irresponsibility of city authorities or the urban roads department”.
He mentioned that most of the highways including even ceremonial roads in Accra were full of weeds with crashed safety fences and barriers, lying on the roadsides for a long time as if no institution was in charge.
Addressing the 2019 Management meeting of the Department of Urban Roads in Koforidua, the Minister tasked the Regional and departmental heads to live up to expectation by ensuring that their mandate was executed to the latter.
He cited several interchanges in the city that were full of weeds and mentioned specifically the Tackie Tawiah interchange, where a tree had fully grown in the middle of the interchange and urged the urban roads to take charge of Ghana’s roads as per their mandate.
The roads and Highways Minister suggested that, to ensure a holistic approach to road maintenance, the urban roads should look at using part of the road fund to deal with the situation.
Speaking on the theme for the meeting, “Ghana beyond Aid, Developing Strategies for Continued Investment in the Urban Road Network” the minister said it was time to strategise to meet the government policy of thriving on its own resources for development and not relying on donor funds.
He indicated that Urban Road network in Ghana was 16,808km with a road condition mix of 63% good, 23% fair and 14% poor for the paved network and 6% good, 22% fair and 72% poor for the unpaved network.
This condition mix, he said “does not befit the urban road network of a middle-income country like Ghana, where Government is desirous of making the country a transportation hub in West Africa, it means there is a lot of work to be done by you and therefore you need to ensure value for money for the Ghanaian taxpayer”
The Minister disclosed that the first tranche of 646 million dollars out of the 2 billion-dollar Sinohydro loan facility would cover 10 major roads and interchanges including Accra Inner City roads, Kumasi Inner City Roads, Tamale interchange, the first of its kind in the Northern region which would link all the five northern regions.
Others were PTC roundabout interchange in Takoradi, Cape Coast Prestea Inner city roads and Sunyani and Brekum inner city roads, which have been approved by parliament and cautioned that “the ministry demands nothing short of hard work and commitment from the staff of the urban roads to ensure these constructions are completed on time scheduled”