15.08.2006 Regional News

Dutch Government To Support Construction of 94 Bridges

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Dr Richard Anane, Minister for Transportation, yesterday inaugurated a bailey bridge over River Adeiso on the Kwapong - Kyekyewere feeder road as one of the 94 bridges to be constructed within three years under the Ghana/Dutch Bridges Project.

Under the programme the Dutch Government is providing a loan of 16.5 million Euros for the procurement of the steel components for the bridge superstructures while the Government of Ghana is paying for the civil works.

The 94 bridges are to be constructed throughout the country, Dr Anane said, adding that the Government was committed to the provision of transport infrastructure and services as a means of enhancing the quality of life of the people.

He said the country had witnessed an unprecedented and massive road rehabilitation and construction works including the development of bridges in order to improve accessibility and consequently to reduce poverty and enhance growth since 2001.

He said in addition to the completion of the bridge a number of feeder roads had also been completed in the area, these included a total of about 41 kilometres of feeder roads that had undergone routine maintenance and rehabilitation.

Some of the roads on which work was ongoing were; the Kwapong Junction –Kyekyewere, Kojoman - Kwesi Nyarko, Mame Dede - Odunamkpala and Akoteako- Besease feeder roads, which would cover 72 kilometres at a cost 3.9 billion cedis, the Minister said.

He commended the Dutch Government and Mr Ariel van der Wiel, Netherlands Ambassador in Ghana, for supporting Ghana's road construction sector.

Dr Anane appealed to timber contractors and other road users to observe road signs and legal limitation of axle loads to prolong the life of bridges and feeder roads.

Mr Van Der Wiel said traffic bottlenecks at bridge sites hampered accessibility to markets resulting in less opportunity for farmers to sell their produce. He said the current transport condition was greatly discouraging farmers in the rural areas from increasing their productivity.

He said the bridge development programme had identified 1,200 water crossing points, which hampered the provision of basic access to rural dwellers in Ghana.

Nana William Obeng Asante, Chief of Oboum Kyekyewere, said it was difficult for school children to cross the river to their various schools. "Until the construction of this bridge, commuters travelling from Kyekyewere and the surrounding villages to Nsawam had to make a detour of 30 kilometres through Obuom and Amasaman when the river Adeiso overflowed its banks during the rainy season.

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