Regional News of 2014-08-23

20 Die on Tetteh Quarshie-Pantang road in 6 months

The 5.6-kilometre road from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to the Pantang Junction has become a death trap. The top-class triple carriageway has no road markings or infrastructure like traffic lights on most part of the stretch, making it difficult for road users, pedestrians, commuters and drivers to enjoy the development.

With no road markings, the carriageway has become a free safari drive where drivers, with careless abandon, speed on, particularly when Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) officials are not in sight.

The stretch between the Adenta Barrier and the Ritz Junction has claimed 20 lives in 231 accidents involving 233 vehicles from January to June, this year.

Out of the number of vehicles involved in the accidents, 111 were commercial, while private ones were 108.

The portion between Okponglo Junction and the overpass at the Atomic Junction is billed to be completed by the end of this year, officials at the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) indicated.

The slipways, which would enable vehicles from the University of Ghana and Mempeasem to join the triple carriageway, are currently being worked on for road markings to be done.

The Commander of the Adenta District Police, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Ahiatefu, who made these known in an interview, said carelessness on the part of drivers, the lack of maintenance of vehicles and lack of road markings were some of the causes of the accidents.

He said some drivers lacked discipline and failed to observe speed limits and basic road courtesies.

He added that the absence of traffic lights and footbridges was also a challenge.

The stretch from the overpass at the Atomic Junction to Adenta Barrier has four uncompleted footbridges one at the intersection of Adenta Barrier, the second at the area called SDA Junction, one at La Nkwantanang and opposite the Redco Flats and the last one at the Zongo junction leading to the Madina Market.

During peak hours, commuters struggle with vehicles for the right of way to cross the roads.

Zebra crossings, one before and the other after the Zongo Junction, have recently been created on the carriageway.

The markings have been described as being of no use by some passers-by interviewed by the Daily Graphic.

“How can you put a zebra crossing on a triple carriageway with cars speeding like that?” a passer-by, who gave his name only as Issah, questioned.

“It’s a little too late, considering the number of lives that have already been lost. Even on single lanes, drivers do not stop for pedestrians, how much more on a triple carriageway,” a commercial driver queried.

The triple carriageway, with single carriage service roads on each side, is also overgrown with weeds on the islands that separate the lanes. Some residents also use the pavements and walkways to ply their trade. They have erected make-shift wooden structures, kiosks and large umbrellas for that purpose.

The SDA Junction is the most dangerous spot on the stretch from the Barrier Junction to the Ritz Junction, some residents said.

“The road slopes slightly downward from the barrier, and with no traffic lights at the junction, approaching drivers move at top speed and give no one else the right of access because the drivers of these vehicles believe, and rightly so, that they are on a highway,” Kudjo, a taxi driver said.

He said his colleagues and himself, as well as other drivers of private vehicles, have to patiently wait until there was no approaching vehicle before they could manoeuvre from the access roads onto the carriageway.

Information gathered from the GHA was that the non-payment for work done delayed the completion of the road which was started in 2009.

Other challenges have been the erection of the footbridges after the construction of the carriageway, which came with the challenges of where to situate them, and financing.

The delay in the completion of the project has also resulted in the laying off the consultant in charge because there is no funding for him to supervise the works. The GHA officials declined to speak, since no one had been designated to take up that function.