Tue, 15 Dec 2009 General News

Completion of Sofoline Interchange to delay

By Issah Alhassan, Kumasi - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE CONSTRUCTION of the Sofoline Interchange and the additional 10.3km dual carriage from Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital roundabout to Abuakwa is not likely to be completed by next year as scheduled, authorities working on the projects have disclosed.

Reports gathered indicate that the project, which was originally scheduled to be completed by July next year, is only 30% percent complete, with the chunk of the work yet to be performed.

The envisaged delay according to authorities is as a result of the payment of compensation to affected individuals and the constant review of the site plan.

The resident engineer, Mr. Atom Badu Prah, who disclosed this when the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr. Kofi Opoku Manu paid a day's working tour to the project site last week Thursday, said the delay has greatly affected the initial estimated cost of the project, as prices of materials and other items needed for construction have been increased as a result of the increasing inflation rate.

The project was initially estimated to cost ¢732 billion ($80 million), the cost of which is being funded by the Government of Ghana, with the Chinese construction firm, China Geo-Engineering Corporation being the contractor.

The delay however means that an additional cost would have to be incurred on the project but concerns are being raised as to which of the party's in the contractual agreement would have to shoulder the additional cost.

The resident engineer told the Minister that a number of affected individuals whose structures and buildings were demolished to pave way for the commencement of the project were yet to receive their compensation packages, barely two years after the official sod cutting was performed by the former President Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor.

The construction of the interchange forms part of the 10.3 kilometre Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital-Abuakwa dual carriageway corridor of the main Kumasi- Sunyani road rehabilitation project as well as the construction of five underpass bridges along the road and the landscaping of the entire road network.

The Ashanti Regional Minister promised to work in collaboration with the Ministry of Roads and Highways to ensure the immediate release of funds for the payment of compensation to the affected individuals to pave way for work to progress on the construction site.

Progress of work on the construction of the interchange have suffered a number of setbacks this year after angry workers protested against poor remuneration and harsh working conditions, forcing the contractors to halt work on the site on two occasions. END.

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