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09.11.2007 General News

President Kufuor inaugurates ‘Asafo Interchange’

President Kufuor inaugurates ‘Asafo Interchange’

President John Agyekum Kufuor has charged motorists and other road users to be extra careful on the road in order to avoid accidents.

He said the improving conditions of the country's major roads should not be an excuse for motorists to drive beyond the permitted speed limits.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Asafo Market-UTC Roundabout Interchange in Kumasi on Friday, President Kufuor expressed sadness about the number of road accidents, which had resulted in fatalities on some sections of the newly completed Kumasi-Konongo road.

He expressed the government's sympathies to the bereaved families, the injured and those who have lost properties in the accidents.

The GH¢16.5 million Asafo Market-UTC Roundabout Interchange, which was commenced in January 2004 and was expected to be completed in July 2005, consist of four-lane bridge at Asafo roundabout, an additional road over a rail bridge converting an existing two-lane bridge into a 4-lane bridge with appropriate facilities for pedestrian-vehicular segregation.

The project also involved the reconstruction of the Station, Link roads and parking area behind the Asafo market, pedestrian steel arch bridge to link Roman Hill to Adum and landscaping of the Interchange area as well as the provision of street lighting.

The delay in the completion of the project had been attributed mainly to the slow mobilization of funds by the Italian contractor, as well as labour disputes between the contractor and the workers.

President Kufuor said delays in the execution of the project had put residents of Kumasi, especially road users to great discomfort and frustration.

He, however, thanked the people of Asanteman for their patience throughout the delays.

President Kufuor said all the major projects, which had been initiated in Kumasi and designed to facilitate the smooth movement of persons, goods and services on the arterial road networks in Kumasi to enhance socio-economic development were on course and would be completed in due course.

The projects are the Sokoban Resettlement component of the Oforikrom-Asokwa road, the Lake road rehabilitation and expansion of the Komfo Anokye-Abuakwa road dual carriageways.

President Kufuor said all these projects had been designed to help Kumasi to regain its former glory as Ghana's Garden City and commended the World Bank, the Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and the Global Environmental Fund for the assistance and support to Ghana's development initiatives.

Mr Godfrey Bayon Tangu, Minister of State for Transportation, said the government was committed to the development of the outer ring road projects of Kumasi. The roads will pass through Afrancho, Kwamo, Apeadu, Sewuah, Feyiase, Ahenema Kokoben, Abuakwa and go behind the Owabi reserve and back to Afrancho.

He said feasibility studies and preliminary designs on the project had commenced, adding that, when implemented, the project would ease the flow of traffic to the city centre of Kumasi and enhance movement of commuters travelling beyond Kumasi.

Mr Emmanuel Asamoah Owusu-Ansah, Ashanti Regional Minister, said the inauguration of the Interchange had brought a lot of relief to the people of Kumasi.

President Kufuor also inaugurated a 20 megawatts capacity emergency plant for Kumasi and a three kilometre street light project from the Suame Roundabout to Maakro junction in Kumasi.