A portion of the Konongo-Accra highway has developed a significant defect which could lead to vehicular accidents on that busy stretch if the situation is not addressed immediately.
Information available to The Chronicle suggests that the six years old pit which has emerged on the pavement of the road keeps widening, leaving pedestrians to their fate.
The earth which supports the metallic crash barrier has been eroded, leaving it hanging. As a matter of fact, the deterioration has reached the highway.
Lying close to low lying land, the defect could cause grave harm to the road if the challenge is not addressed as soon as possible.
About four years ago, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, paid a working visit to the site and reported the incident to the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA), but the situation has not been addressed and it is getting dangerous.
Owing to the magnitude of the danger, the Asante Akim Central Assembly has placed some items on the road to warn drivers and pedestrians from using that portion.
In an interaction with a resident of Konongo, who gave his name as Gabriel Agyapong, he expressed concern about the inability of the Assembly to get the problem addressed.
To Agyapong, this problem was started by rainfall-caused erosion, but has worsened and is threatening the highway, bemoaning that there was an office of the GHA nearby, but he did not understand why the problem had still not been taken care of.
According to him, a driver who is not familiar with the highway could drive into the ‘ditch’ and somersault into the low lying area. Agyapong has, therefore, appealed to the government to attend to the problem.
Another resident called Nana Amofa appealed to the state to do the needful because the situation has been abandoned for far too long.
According to Amofa, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Konongo, Robert Yaw Kwakye, and the Assembly Member for of Penamanmu Electoral Area, Charles Gyasi Dapaah, have reported the incident to the GHA on several occasions, but the danger remains.
When reached on phone, Mr. Robert Yaw Kwakye acknowledged the challenge on the Penamanmu portion of the Konongo-Accra highway.
According to Yaw Kwakye, that particular situation was the work of the Highways Authority, and the only thing the Assembly could do was to notify them about the danger ahead.
He told this paper that the necessary information had been forwarded to the Minister, the Regional Security Council, and the GHA.
“We have sent letters and petition upon petition to the Highways. We are waiting that they come, but fortunately for us, the GHA were here last week to assess the situation, and we have been given a promise that next week they would be here,” he told The Chronicle.
Asked about since when the assembly notified the GHA about the danger on the Konongo portion of the Accra-Kumasi highway, Kwakye responded that he started noticing the GHA long ago ,adding that her predecessor filed a number of petition to that effect.
Speaking to Mr. Mark Okyere, Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Highways Authority, he told The Chronicle that they were aware of the Konongo situation, describing it as a washout challenge.
Okyere explained that the washout challenge had been awarded to a contractor, but the contractor had not been able to execute it, and that steps were taken to get another contractor to salvage the situation.
“We are aware of the situation, and steps are being taken to address the problem as soon as possible,” he said.
In a related development, the GHA has failed to erect a crash barrier on River Oda after previous one had been destroyed supposedly by a vehicle.
This situation was reported about three years ago when Ing. Christian Nti, who is now the head of the GHA, was the Ashanti Regional Director of the Authority.
This situation has left the bridge in a danger state and pedestrians and motorist risk falling into the river in the event of an accident.
Speaking to the Ashanti Regional Director of the GHA, Ing. Mark Okyere, he told this paper that he had no idea about the situation.
According to him, he would take notice of the Ejisu issue and see what his office could do about it.