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Work starts on the GH¢ 61.2 million Nsawam by-pass road

By GNA
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The Government's programme of enhancing the efficiency of the road transport sector to promote economic growth was on Tuesday given further push with the start of construction work on the GH¢ 61.2 million Nsawam by-pass road project.
The 9.3-kilometre dual carriageway is a new alignment that would go over a bridge and railway line, traversing some rural settlements.
The project makes provision for purpose-built stalls to facilitate commerce and a transit terminal to help keep heavy trucks out of the road corridor and enable their drivers to take some rest en route.
It commences from the just completed Ofankor-Nsawam road and ends at Kwafokrom after the Nsawam Township on the Accra-Kumasi Highway.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government are funding the project awarded to China Railway Engineering (Wuju) Corporation and scheduled to be completed in 24 months.
President John Agyekum Kufuor performing the ceremony to mark the formal beginning of work on the by-pass road said the current traffic bottlenecks on the country's roads would have to be removed if the sector was to succeed in facilitating economic growth and wealth creation and at the same time promote regional trade and competitiveness.
He said it was for this reason that the Government was doing everything to construct the nation's three busiest highways, Accra-Kumasi, Accra-Cape Coast-Takoradi and Accra-Aflao into dual carriageways.
The President said although the Government's decision in 2001 to re-model the single-lane bridge over the Densu River at Nsawam and widen it to allow for two lanes of vehicular traffic as well as safe accessibility to pedestrians helped to minimize the discomfort and stress of motorists and commuters, the fundamental problems remained and delays in traffic had persisted.
The by-pass was therefore to provide a permanent solution to the trauma and intolerable delays associated with travelling on the short stretch.
Similar ones, President Kufuor said, were being constructed at Nkawkaw, Anyinam, Enyeresi and Konongo to help to reduce travel time and vehicle operating cost on the Kumasi-Accra corridor.
He used the occasion to allay the anxiety of people in these areas about the possible negative impact, which these were going to have on the business prospects of the towns, with the assurance that they would not lead to decline in the socio-economic fortunes of the communities.
The President called on organizations in the road sector to make adequate provision in their respective budgets for timely and sustainable maintenance of the country's roads to prolong their lifespan and ensure maximum returns on the investments.
Dr Richard Anane, Transportation Minister, said the completion of the project would help enhance economic activities and facilitate trade and economic integration within the sub-region.
It would carry international transit traffic from the Ports in Abidjan and San Pedro, both in neighbouring Cote d'Ivoire, and Takoradi and Tema onwards to landlocked countries in the West African sub-region.

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