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22.03.2007 General News

Take another look at Tema Motorway - MP


Parliament on Wednesday called for a second look at the Tema Motorway with the view to further develop and make it relevant to growing population needs.

In a statement on the practical realities facing the Motorway, Mr David Oppong-Kusi, NPP-Ofoase/Ayirebi said the road, constructed in the first republic by Dr Kwame Nkrumah and meant to link Accra and Tema could no longer function as a special facility.

“Let us task the road agencies to take a second look at the motorway and redesign the facility to include a service road on the northern side of the road with appropriate lay byes and signaled intersection.

“It is in this direction that we have to wake up to so that the authorities will be encouraged to modify the design of the road to allow it to not only serve the ports and factories but also serve the corridor within which the road lays.”

However, other members of Parliament disagreed and cautioned that the Motorway could be turned into a normal road with many links if care was not taken.

But Mr Oppong-Kusi described as frustrating to the managers of the road the emotional discussion on maintaining the road within the confines of its original objectives.

He expressed satisfaction at the beginning of the long-awaited extension of the motorway under the Millennium Challenge Account and which is expected to go through a heavily built corridor from Tetteh Quarshie Interchange through La Paz to Mallam.

The design would recognize the requirement of properties, facilities and road users along the corridor and make provisions that will include lay byes, signaled intersections, service roads, walkways, as well as other safety measures to optimize the use of the road.

Mr Oppong-Kusi said he was raising the issue in order to move the matter from the narrow confines of emotional attachment to an old motorway than an assessment of the practical realities of the current land use patterns.

He argued that the road as it is now has very few safety measures and practically no speed limits, used by a mixture of swift new cars, old rickety trotros, heavily loaded trucks and tractors as well as pedestrians who cross at great risk.

Contributing to the statement, Mr Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader said it was important for urgent action to be taken to improve the investment made by the first President immediately after independence.

He said as someone who used the motorway daily, he had come to terms with the need to introduce certain elements to make it relevant to current users and the growing communities springing up between the two cities.

Mr Bagbin explained that the Ministry of Transportation had agreed to construct two overheads in addition to the present one near the Trasaco Valley end of the road.

He noted that the Tema Motorway has served a useful purpose, but the growth of the two cities makes its current state outdated.

Mr Bagbin called for proper accounting system and rendering of a comprehensive stewardship of the private contractor collecting the tolls.

“This has become more apparent because of the consistent spate of dwindling revenue from the tolls despite the increasing volumes of users,” Mr Bagbin added.

Mr Abas Ibn Mohammed, NDC-Bimbilla supported moves to raise the Tema Motorway to 21st century status but cautioned the authorities, “not to turn the Tema Motorway into another Spintex Road in our haste to bring changes in the form of exits and entry points.”

Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Minister of Public Sector Reform also called for caution stressing that government should not fall for calls for the changes just because people are showing up in homes in between the two cities.

“There is need for proper and adequate planning,” saying, “if changes must be done at all, it musts be done properly after succinct debate in order to flow along with the people for whom the facility is for.”

Source: GNA