Regional News of 2014-03-11

Drivers decry cost of Senchi ferry services

Commercial drivers have complained about the high fares being charged by the ferry which has been provided for them to cross the Volta River at Atimpoku.

The ferry was launched yesterday following the closure of the Adomi Bridge linking the Greater Accra and the Eastern regions to the Volta Region.

Currently, only drivers of vehicles pay to use the ferry, while individuals do not pay any fare.

The lowest fare is GH¢1 for motorbikes, while the highest is GH¢85 for low loaders.

About 9 a.m. yesterday when the bridge was closed, many vehicles, particularly commercial ones, had formed a queue to cross the River Volta.

For other drivers, the delay in crossing the half-mile journey from Senchi to Akrade was worrisome.

Some of them, including Mr Believe Dei, a commercial driver who plies the Ho-Koforidua road, had to wait for several hours.

Mr Dei had arrived at the ferry site at 7:30 a.m. and by 9:50 a.m. he was yet to move from Senchi to Akrade.

“I am paying GH¢12 out and I will pay the same fare when returning,” he stated. The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) explained that the ferry used about five gallons of fuel to make the six-minute journey from Senchi to Akrade.

“The fare being charged is just for the maintenance of the ferries,” the Chief Executive Officer of the GHA, Mr Michael Abbey, stated.

Scope of work on Adomi Bridge

Messrs Bilfinger MCE GmbH of Austria will, in the next 22 months, carry out major works on the bridge.

According to Mr Abbey, the contractor would remove the entire bridge deck, replace its hangers and provide lighting along the path of the bridge.

The arch, he stated, would remain intact.

The project is estimated to cost 12.9 million euros.

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, who performed the official ceremony, indicated that the government could no longer afford to delay the project, as it would be compelled to pay the contractor for the idle time.