The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Tuesday cut the sod for construction of the first-ever interchange in the Western Region at a ceremony in Takoradi.
The historic Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, which is part of the Synohydro agreement, will be constructed at the PTC Roundabout in Takoradi and brings to six the number of interchanges the Akufo-Addo government has started in its first term.
The others are the Tema interchange, which has been completed; and the Obetsebi Lamptey, Pokuase, Nungua and Tamale interchanges.
Speaking at the sod-cutting ceremony, Vice President Bawumia said construction of the Interchange will enhance free flow of traffic in Takoradi, and forms part of government’s broader vision of providing infrastructure for all, as well as it’s specific programme to improve road infrastructure in the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi.
“Construction of the PTC Interchange fits into government’s programme of improving the road infrastructure for Sekondi-Takoradi and to modernise the twin city,” Dr. Bawumia said.
Dr. Bawumia added that apart from construction of the PTC interchange, the Akufo-Addo government is also undertaking road improvements within the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis – such as the road network around Paa Grant Roundabout to Effia Nkwanta Hospital.
He noted further that the Accra Road, the Sekondi Road from Paa Grant Roundabout, as well as the Adiembra Road from Effia Nkwanta Hospital will be widened into dual-carriageways.
On the Akufo-Addo government’s massive infrastructure development agenda nationwide, Dr. Bawumia said prior to the 2016 election, the NPP conducted a survey on the development of Ghana and the survey, which he said informed the NPP’s 2016 Manifesto, revealed profound challenges, including a huge infrastructure deficit and uneven distribution of projects.
“In line with government’s agenda to ensure inclusive and accelerated economic development, we have focused our efforts during the first term in office to provide infrastructure for all,” Dr. Bawumia noted.
“Our approach to the infrastructure development of Ghana has been two-fold: first, to provide for the infrastructure needs of poor and deprived communities for services such as water, toilets, clinics and electricity. Second, to provide for the broader infrastructure needs of the economy at the macro-level to drive economic growth; such as ports, major highways and inner city roads and bridges.”
Dr. Bawumia stressed that the Akufo-Addo government’s strategy for infrastructure development is to provide people their real needs at both urban and rural levels to help economic activities.
“Our thinking about infrastructure for all includes all the amenities people need in order to unleash the potentials for growth in their communities, constituencies and districts, and ultimately improve the conditions of everyday living.
“These are needed to support industrial growth and other supporting economic activities, especially in the urban areas (such as the Takoradi-Sekondi Metropolis).”
The Vice President said constructing Takoradi’s first interchange will significantly address traffic congestion in the city, especially the PTC and Paa Grant Roundabout areas, where he said data from Department of Urban Roads estimate traffic congestion at 4.5%, higher than the national estimate of 3.5%.
“The need for road improvements through the central business district will increase with the redevelopment of Takoradi Market Circle into a modern commercial hub; and the Port Expansion Project to position Takoradi as a major port for commodity exports.”
As part of massive road development in the Sekondi-Takoradi municipality, Dr. Bawumia noted that the Butua Lagoon and the railway bridge on Adiembra Road will be widened to accommodate dual carriageways.
He also announced that Cabinet has approved the loan and commercial agreement for construction of the Paa Grant interchange Phase-1, and works on these projects are expected to commence before end of the year.
Construction of the PTC interchange is part of Phase-1 of the Sino Hydro projects; including the Accra Inner City Roads, Kumasi Inner City Roads, Tamale Interchange Project, Adenta – Dodowa dual carriageway, Sunyani Inner City Roads, Western Region and Cape Coast Inner City Roads.
The rest are upgrading of selected feeder roads in Ashanti and Western regions, rehabilitation of Akim Oda- Ofoase- New Abirem Roads and Hohoe –Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu Road.
After cutting the sod for construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Dr. Bawumia also inspected ongoing road works on the Kansaworodo Road in Takoradi.
The Vice President was accompanied by the Minister of Roads and Highways, Amoako Attah, and Joe Ghartey, Minister for Railways Development.