Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Thursday, cut sod for work to begin on the construction of a concrete road in Tema, decades after a similar road construction--the Tema Motorway-- was undertaken in Ghana.
The 5.4 km stretch of road--TOR-Tema Steel Works-DVLA Road--which is being undertaken by two local firms, Messrs Lèmef Construction Limited and Messrs Joshob Construction Limited, is expected to be completed in 18 months.
In an address, Dr Bawumia recalled an advice he had earlier given the Roads Ministry to consider the option of concrete roads to give a longer lifespan to the country's roads.
He commended the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the tremendous effort it had made to ensure the take-off of the pilot project.
The Vice President said the choice of a concrete road could not have come at a better time, especially in Tema, as it was home to major industries in the country and that it was important to provide durable roads to link the industries to the port as well as other parts of the country.
He explained that the choice of the TOR-Tema Steel Works-DVLA Road was based on the functional use of the roads by heavily-loaded vehicular trucks.
The Vice President urged the Ministry of Roads and Highways to sustain the policy direction of government to improve road infrastructure by using concrete as the preferred pavement type on heavy axle roads like those in the industrial areas of our country, as well as training young and upcoming Engineers and Contractors in the use of concrete as a pavement option.
Furthermore, he said, the Ministry should undertake research in the use of local materials like Pozolana cement, aggregates and sand in road construction with the aim of reducing the cost of concrete roads and providing job opportunities for the country's contractors and engineers.
Mr Akwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister for Roads and Highways, in a statement, charged the contractors to deliver a top notch job to serve as an example to their colleagues in the construction sector.
The Tema port, the largest port in Ghana, has played a very important role in Ghana's economy. There are heavy industries along the Tema Steel works road, but the current nature of the road is very poor and a disincentive to the industries along the road.
It was to this end that Government has initiated the Construction of the TOR-Tema Steel Works-DVLA Road.
According to Road Construction Engineers, concrete roads lasted a minimum of forty (40) years, with just occasional rehabilitation works and that although it came with an initially higher construction cost; it was much cheaper, in the long run, and environmentally friendly.
Ghana's first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was the first to construct such a road, the Tema Motorway, to link the industrial city of Tema to Accra in 1965.
Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)