Traffic congestion at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra is expected to reduce soon, following plans by the government to construct an interchange and other related ancillary works at the place.
Already, Parliament has approved a loan of 74,880,000.00 Euros to finance the engineering, design and construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange.
The loan is an export credit agreement between the government and PNB Paribas of Paris, France, a mandated lead arranger, and the Queiroz Galvao Construcao of Rio de Janeiro, under a Brazilian Official Equalisation Programme (PROTEX).
The Kwame Nkrumah Circle is a key intersection in the arterial road network in Accra, which carries about 84,000 vehicles a day and constitutes a key bottleneck in the major arterial road network that links the suburban areas of Accra and the Central Business District.
According to experts, even though the intersection has reached the limit of its traffic capacity, traffic demand on the other arteries continue to increase resulting in serious congestion during peak periods and most periods of the day.
Under this project, therefore, detailed feasibility and engineering studies would be undertaken to design and reconstruct the Kwame Nkrumah Circle into an interchange to ease the traffic, and other related ancillary works would be undertaken to ensure that the exchange achieves optimum functionality.
The scope of work of the project covers a detailed engineering design; construction of the interchange; construction of a road-over-rail bridge; widening of the Odaw Bridge; improvement of the intersection of the Ring Road at Feo Eyeo Road; improvement of road drainage works; provision of pedestrian and recycling facilities; rationalisation of existing public transport facilities and the provision of street lights for night time safety.
The report of the Finance Committee of Parliament on the loan agreement signed by its chairman, Mr James Klutse Avedzi, indicated that the project was expected to bring significant improvement in the traffic flow in the corridor, accelerate the socio-economic development of the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), in particular, and the country in general, enhance economic activities and improve transport and standard of living of the people.
It is also expected to create jobs for skilled and non-skilled labour in the areas of surveying, driving, steel works and construction, among others.
Some Members of Parliament on the committee advised that in the design and the construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange lessons should be drawn from the George Walker Bush Highway, where they observed an unusual traffic jam at the major intersections during its construction because of non-development of arterial roads.
They recommended that the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange should be carried out simultaneously with the development of the adjourning arterial roads to ensure free flow of traffic upon the completion of the project.
The report said some of the MPs also expressed concern about the concentration of interchange development projects only in Accra and Kumasi.
They also encouraged the government to consider the development of the Paa Grant Circle and Nkrumah Circle in the Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolis into modern interchanges to help ease traffic congestion in the Western Regional capital.
Source: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah/D-Graphic
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