Residents of formerly Somalia Drive now "Japan Freeway" in the densely populated Monrovia suburb of Gardnersville are breathing great relief with the official dedication of a 4-lane 13.2 kilometers of road that links the commercial hub of Bushrod Island to the commercial district of Paynesville, significantly easing traffic congestion, while promoting trade and commerce.
The project was initially estimated at 89 million Japanese yen or equivalently US$1million and formally signed in 2012 under the administration of ex-president Ellen Johnson Sdirleaf was dedicated officially by President George Manneh Weah on Monday, July 26, 2021, which also marked Liberia's 174th Independence.
Not so much of the historic co-incidence of the day itself but the immense economic and other benefits that both Liberians and foreign business partners have already begun to enjoy in terms of movement, quick access, timely delivery of goods and services in the wake of completion, and formal dedication of the road.
Unarguably, road is one of the major economic assets that boost commerce and trade, so rehabilitation and expansion of the former Somalia Drive into four lanes asphalt-paved, separated by concrete with drainages that allow vehicles, including trailers and other heavy-duty trucks as well as tricycles and bikes coming to Bushrod Island and Central Monrovia to ply in one direction, while those headed for the commercial district of Paynesville move in the opposite lane, is the first of its kind in Liberia, meeting international standard.
Thanks to the Government and warm-hearted people of Japan for single-handedly financing the project as a gift to the Government and people of Liberia. This gesture, executed thru the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA will go a long way in not just cementing already existing cordial ties subsisting between Liberia and Japan, but keeping the strong bond of friendship of peoples of both countries.
However, now that the "Japan Freeway" is here, we as ordinary Liberians and even the Government of Liberia have our own role to play in the maintenance of this great asset. Road like any economic asset goes thru a period of tear and wear or depreciation hence, the need for regular servicing cannot be overly emphasized. This means both road users and the Ministry of Public Works, the government arm that is responsible to keep watch on such public facility should do everything humanly possible in keeping the road in a good state.
Euphoria for the Japan Freeway would soon diminish if broken-down trailers and other heavy-duty trucks are left unattended to in the traffic, creating congestion and risk for accidents that could be avoided just by removing such objects to maintain free-flow of traffic.
Drivers too are cautioned not to take the newly paved road as a license to engage in reckless driving and overspeeding at the expense of human lives and property. Responsible driving requires careful observance of traffic signs, rules, and vehicle roadworthiness.
The traffic division of the Liberia National Police has a key role to play in this endeavor as it continues to do in other parts of the country. The presence of traffic Police officers at every intersection along the Freeway is important to keeping reckless drivers, tricyclists, and bike riders in check.
In short, we want the usage of this important public facility to become an asset rather than a curse to the people of Liberia. Thru effective maintenance and proper usage of the "Japan Freeway", we would encourage our foreign partners to do more in driving the development agenda of this country for prosperity and improved living standards one of which is a quality paved road.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/somalia-drive-to-be-completed-in-may/