Liberia: Works to Upgrade 45Km Ria-Elwa Road 'Cautiously' Resume By Next Week - Mansion Reveals

Monrovia — Works to expand and modernize the highway between the Roberts International Airport in Margibi County and ELWA Junction in Paynesville by the government will 'cautiously' take off by the coming week, according to Presidential Press Secretary, Isaac Solo Kelgbeh.

This announcement comes after the threat of the Coronavirus seems to be subsiding, and life, public and private activities in the country gradually getting back to normal.

Mr. Kelgbeh told Executive Mansion reporters Tuesday that the road project will "resume" shortly. The project has been highly welcomed by Liberians since its initial pronouncement by the government.

After the groundbreaking ceremonies were held in Unification Town in the RIA vicinity early this year, progress on the project was interrupted and slowed by the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus.

To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has killed 82, with the total confirmed cases at 1,354; active cases at 36; and 1,236 people have recovered in Liberia, according to the National Public Health Institute.

"You know things got stalled because of this pandemic. So I know before the pandemic came, the government was trying to compensate those who were on the way... some of them were compensated because their structures were already broken down - that process is going to continue," said Kelgbeh, implying that the monetary Resettlement Action Plan was still underway.

In February, President George Weah boarded and took the wheels of an earthmoving machine to symbolically declare the upgrading of the dual-carriage road works started in Unification Town as thousands jubilated to the news of the road.

The road is expected to be done in three phases, according to the Ministry of Public Works: the first being from RIA to the Junk River on the highway; the second from the River to ELWA Junction; and the third, rehabilitation of the Junk River Bridge.

Of the US$94.5 million total cost, US$80 million will be allotted to civil works, US$7 million to design and maintenance, and US$7.5 million to RAP management, authorities say.

The works will also include a toll booth, road shoulders, and electrification. The works have been contracted to the East International company.

Meanwhile, another huge project that could start in the "soonest possible time" is the earmarked flyover (overhead road) at the SKD Boulevard in Congo Town, Kelgbeh said on Tuesday.

"Things are on course but the government cannot start until all of those whose properties will be affected are compensated. But money to construct that 'bridge' is ready," he added.

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