The construction of the Ashalaja Bridge in the Obom-Domeabra Constituency in the Greater Accra Region has been completed and will soon be opened to the public.
The Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr. Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, made this known on the floor of parliament yesterday.
The steel bridge has been constructed over the Densu River for Ashalaja and surrounding communities in the Ga South municipality.
The bridge, which will be opened to the public tomorrow, Friday, replaces an old one that collapsed sometime last year.
Hon. Sophia Karen Ackuaku, Member of Parliament for Obom-Domeabra, on floor of parliament, wanted to know from the Minister of Roads and Highways when the bridge would be completed for public use.
“Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways how soon the major bridge that links Amasaman to Ashalaja and Kasoa will be completed to facilitate and ease movement from Accra West to the Central Region and other parts of the country,” she stated.
In response, the deputy minister said, the bridge in question is scheduled for substantial competition by June 30, 2017 and will thereafter be opened to both vehicular and pedestrian traffics.
“This bridge over the Densu River, popularly called Ashalaja Bridge, is about 99% complete. the Contractor is currently on site, working on expansion joints of the deck of the bridge and the 33km Kasoa-Amasaman road,” he stated.
The deputy minister noted that, “outstanding works on the bridge including traffic safety measures such as road-line marking, installation of road signs and crash barriers, are ongoing and when done, the bridge would be opened”.
However, the MP said though she was satisfied with the answers provided by the deputy minister, the slow pace of work is hampering the movement of vehicles and other road users.
The bridge, Hon Sophia Ackuaku said, serves as a major link route of the western corridor of the country, as vehicles from the north-eastern part of Accra and the Eastern Region going to the Central Region could easily connect without using the Weija roads.
In addition, she said it would enhance the movement of commuters, especially traders from the Ashalaja and its adjoining communities and beyond to other parts of the country.
The bridge is a 36m single span reinforced concrete structure over the Densu River that links communities, such as Amasaman, Ayikai Doblo, Domeabra, Ashalaja, Obom and Kasoa amongst others.
It collapsed due to heavy duty trucks that pass through to the Central Region and was put up temporally by personnel of the National Security Secretariat, before the major construction works started.
The construction of the bridge formed part of the Kasoa Interchange and the ancillary works project, the portion that covers the rehabilitation of the Kasoa-Amasaman road to bituminous surfacing.
Hon Ackuaku said, economically, it would help boost trade and industries as it serves as the shorter route to link the Central Region from the West of Accra and others from the Eastern Region.
Recounting the challenges the residents of the communities went through when the old bridge collapsed, the MP noted, “schoolchildren found it difficult to cross the river to school. Businesses grounded to a halt and life was really unbearable for the people.”
She expressed the hope that after the commissioning of the bridge, the authorities in charge would regulate its effective use to avoid any disaster in future.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba