By Maxwell Ofori
President Akufo-Addo, last week Friday, commissioned a Traffic Management Centre to monitor the traffic situation in some parts of the capital, Accra. The facility will, in subsequent phases, have control over all traffic lights in Accra and the country at large.
The project, which commenced in July 2018, comprises of a set of applications, management tools and intelligent transport systems (ITS) to also improve safety for all road users on the project corridor.
Called the Area-Wide Traffic Signal Control System (AWTSCS), it is to mitigate road congestion and its related problems. Phase 1 of the project was targeted at the coordination of 41 traffic signalised intersections in Accra.
Phase II, which is to be funded by the China Development Bank (CDB), will involve 207 intersections in the Greater Accra Region, scheduled to commence within this month, and to be completed by September next year.
In his brief remarks at the commissioning ceremony, President Akufo-Addo, having acknowledged traffic related problems, commended the team from the Ministry of Roads, which made the project possible.
“The centre, the first of its kind in the country and West Africa, will coordinate effectively our capital’s traffic lights system so as to guarantee efficient communication within our traffic light system, thereby ensuring a much smarter way of dealing with congestion on our roads.”
The President further reiterated the commitment of his administration to fixing and improving the nation’s road network.
He said: “Government remains committed to improving the road network in our country, and, to paraphrase the words of the Minister for Finance, we are fixing our nation’s roads in deeds, and not with words and pictures in Green Books.”
According to the President, the construction of the Pokuase Interchange, for example, is about 40% complete. “The original contract was for a three-tier interchange, however, through efficient management, the interchange has been modified to a four-tier interchange within the same contract sum. This project, when completed, will bring massive relief to commuters on the Nsawam Road and Awoshie-Pokuase-Kwabenya roads. The project is scheduled for completion by October 2020,” he added.
The Kumasi Road and Drainage Extension Project, President Akufo-Addo explained, includes the dualization of the Lake Road, and the lining of the Sissai River Drain in Kumasi, which is currently 16% complete.
Piling works for the foundation for the Tamale Interchange, he said, has commenced, and significant progress will be achieved in the construction of the Interchange by September 2020.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that work on the Tema Motorway Interchange is 55% complete, and is expected to be completed by June 2020, with work on the Teshie Link Road progressing steadily.
M/S Contracta, the President indicated, will from September commence the construction of 100km of Kumasi Inner Roads, a project which will significantly improve the condition of the road network in Kumasi; and
Detail design works on the Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange are ongoing, with work to commence shortly.
Government, the President added, will ensure that these projects are delivered on time, on budget, and with value for money.
On his part, the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta indicated that the Ministry implemented the phase I of the project, acting through the Department of Urban Roads with funding from Agencҿ Franҫaise de Développement (AFD) and government.
He said that, among other things, the facility will improve level of service at intersections through the management of traffic congestion in real time.
“Bus priority at some critical signalised intersection to reduce travel time for high occupancy buses, identification and rectification of fatal/critical problems at signalised intersections, traffic data gathering for planning purposes,” he mentioned were nut a few of the benefits of the facility.