|T’Quarshie-Mallam Road Opens Today|
|Wednesday, 15 February 2012 09:37|
The Tetteh Quarshie-Mallam highway will be inaugurated today and handed over to the government and people of Ghana.In an elaborate ceremony planned to take place this morning, the President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, who will be the guest of honour, will cut the tape to formally declare the highway open to traffic.
The ceremony marks the climax of handing over ceremonies being undertaken throughout the country by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), as it prepares to wind up its five years programme at the end of this month.
As part of the preparation for the opening, Ghana and US flags have been hoisted along the stretch, particularly at the New Achimota Overhead where the main event will take place.
Motorists and pedestrians the Times talked to yesterday, ahead of the opening were full of admiration of the road which has contributed immensely to easing traffic after it was opened a few weeks ago.
Taxi and trotro drivers who ply the road commended the MiDA, the local implementing agency of the compact, for completing the project on time.
Their complaints were not different from the pedestrians who also said the footbridges are too far apart making people cross the road by jumping over the fencing which has been used to divide the highway.
Ghana signed the US Millennium Challenge Account Compact, signaling the release of the project sum over five years, to help fight poverty and upgrade agricultural production in the Afram Plains area as well as other strategic areas in the country.
Following the signing of the compact, MiDA received $547 million from the Millennium Challenge Corporation of the USA in 2006 for poverty alleviation activities across the country.
One of the key projects, the construction of the 14.1 km highway from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to the Mallam Junction, was completed at a cost of 173 million dollars and ready to be handed over to the Ghana Highway Authority today.
The Ni highway which was opened to traffic last week has been upgraded to a three-lane express highway with two intrerchanges at Dimples area and Mallam Junction, The highway also has six footbridges, 13 bus bays, 23 minor junctions, bicycle lanes and two transport terminals at Kokroko near Mallam and Ageka Lapaz.
The highway, an ECOWAS highway, was expanded to reduce traffic congestion and delays in moving from the Western parts of the country to the Kotoka International airport and the Tema Port.
According to the Chief Executive of MiDA, Martin Eson-Benjamin, a total of $208 million has been pumped into other areas of the programme such as the agricultural sector involving enterprise training in commercial agriculture in 30 districts across the country, rehabilitation and construction of four irrigation schemes at Kpong, Botanga and Golinga, land tenure facilitation, post harvest infrastructurce and value chain services as well as other agricultural credit activities.
The transport sector has also witnessed the injection of 218 million dollars for the development of trunk roads from Agogo to Dome with a new bridge over the River Afram at Afrisere and the rehabilitation of a ferry for use on the Volta River and Afram Basin.
About $77 million of the total budget has also gone into rural service development to strengthen rural institutions which provide complementary services to communities. The Millennium Development Account Compact programme which began in 2006 ends on February 16, this year and there is no extension.
President John Agyekum Kufuor launched the MCA, Ghana Programme in August 2006.
The Resident Country Director of the MCC, Katerina Ntep, said Ghana’s proposal for a new compact is being analyzed and will be developed with in the next 12 months.