The Daily Graphic reported last week Friday that the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) has completed maintenance works on portions of the Accra-Tema Motorway. According to the story, the company that undertook the maintenance works was awaiting clearance from the GHA laboratory to open the road to traffic.
The Motorway is the major road that links Accra to Tema, the industrial hub of the country, but despite the heavy traffic it carries every day, it has been allowed to deteriorate over the years, thus making driving on it very dangerous.
Since the road was constructed to last for fifty years, one would have expected that prior to the expiry date, the needed funds would have been sought to start the reconstruction straight away. Unfortunately, this never happened, leaving the road in its current sordid state. The Minister for Roads and Highways is, however, assuring Ghanaians that the re-construction of the only motorway in Ghana would start in August this year.
But before this happens, the Ministry has to put the road in good shape by repairing portions that have developed pot-holes and the weak bridge over the Lakplapka River. Ideally, this should have been good news to motorists, but the latter, who were the same people calling for the maintenance works, turned round to accuse the GHA of creating unnecessary traffic on the busy road.
During the period that the maintenance works were being carried out, motorists kept on lambasting the sector ministry on social media, radio and television stations – because of the inconveniences it created. Unfortunately, if the Ministry had sat aloof and something untoward had happened, these same motorists would have been the first to point accusing fingers at the Ministry for failing to properly maintain the road. But, despite these unmerited criticisms, The Chronicle is happy that the maintenance works have been brought to an end, and the road open to traffic.
But going forward, The Chronicle advises both the Ministry of Roads and Highways and the GHA to take a cue from the reactions of motorists during the maintenance period, and come out with a well-planned strategy that will minimise traffic build up on the road during the period of actual reconstruction. In our view, more access routes to Tema and Accra should be created on the corridor during the period, otherwise the trauma motorists and passengers will go through will be worse than what they just experienced.
For the record, about 30,000 cars and vehicles use the motorway each day, because apart from the Tema industrial enclave, it also serves as the only road linking Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. This is the reason why there are always traffic build up anytime maintenance works are being carried out on the road. The GHA is already aware of this reality so we do not expect any discordant noises from the public in August, when the contractor moves to site to start work.
Human attitude is sometimes very difficult to handle, but we believe the GHA will surmount the challenge when the time comes. This means putting all the measures in place to ensure the free movement of cars and vehicles on the corridor during the two year period that the reconstruction works would be executed.