Kumasi, Nov. 21, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Sunday cut the sod for work to begin on the first phase of the Kumasi-Techiman road project at Bremang, a suburb of Kumasi.
The European Union (EU) is financing work on the 40-kilometre Maakro Junction-Samproso road with a grant estimated at about 18.8 million Euros (188 billion cedis).
The construction, which is expected to be completed within 30 months, will pass through 17 towns and villages on the road. The project being undertaken by Taysec of the United Kingdom (UK), includes a dual carriage from Maakro-Junction to Kronum each with three lanes.
Kronum-Afrancho would be two lanes dual carriage; Afrancho-Samproso would be single lane dual carriage while a 32-metre bridge over River Offin would be reconstructed.
The second phase of the 76-kilometre Samproso-Techiman road is expected to be undertaken upon the completion of the first phase. President Kufuor said the road leads to a major marketing centre at Techiman and also served as one of the international corridors linking some countries within the ECOWAS.
He said it was therefore important to ensure good quality work on the road in line with international standards.
President Kufuor said the road was the 13th trunk road to be reconstructed under the NPP administration since 2001.
He said improvement of basic infrastructure such as roads and other sectors had formed the basis for the laying of a firm foundation for the promotion of growth and accelerated development and this would be enhanced when the mandate of the government is renewed during the December polls.
Ambassador Stefan Frowein, Head of the Delegation of the EU in Ghana, said the Kumasi-Techiman road project is part of the third transport infrastructure programme signed in 199 totalling 56 million Euros.
He said the financing agreement of the fourth transport programme was currently under preparation.
Ambassador Frowein said the transport and infrastructure sector is one of the focal sectors of current Ghana-EU development co-operation, adding that other sectors are rural development and macro-economic support.
He said outside these sectors, the EU is supporting governance, health and education, environment and culture.
Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, said in constructing the Kumasi-Techiman road, the government has recognised the need to minimise hardships and inconveniences to motorists and the travelling public during the period of the execution of the project. He said the government has therefore ensured that adequate measures were put in place to minimise the negative environmental, traffic and safety impacts during this period.
Among President Kufuor's entourage were Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwamena Bartels, Minister of Private Sector Development and Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister.