Adomi bridge closure: government planned poorly – Ayariga
Hon. Mahama Ayariga
Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mahama Ayariga has acknowledged government’s poor planning and lack of extensive consultation, in the closure of the Adomi Bridge, which is causing great inconvenience to users of the facility.
According to Mr. Ayariga, though plans to close the bridge had been made as far back as 2012, it is obvious by the challenges being faced by commuters across the Volta Lake that the whole project and its execution were done poorly.
The Adomi Bridge was closed to vehicular traffic, on Monday 10th March, 2014, for major rehabilitation works to commence. The bridge, which caters for travelers on the eastern corridor of the Volta region, is expected to be completed in two years, barring unforeseen circumstances.
Accordingly, Vehicles from Accra to Ho and vice-versa will now have to cross the Volta Lake at Senchi to Old Akradi and continue to Juapong.
Built across the Volta River at Atimpoku, up north of Senchi in 1956, the Adomi Bridge has provided immense services to the people of Ghana. It is estimated that, about one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) workers, traders and tourists cross the Volta River using the bridge on a daily basis. In terms of vehicles, it is estimated that on the average, over four thousand (4,000) vehicles of all sizes cross the bridge daily.
However, following poor maintenance practices by successive governments, the state of bridge has deteriorated incredibly, necessitating its closure for maintenance works.
As the bridge closes, commuters are already complaining about the alternative arrangements. They are kicking against a two-cedi charge for using a lorry park managed by a private developer as well as the cost of the Ferry’s service.
4×4, Pick-up and Urvan buses are paying GHc12.00 (?120,000) to be ferried across the lake, while Saloon cars pay GHc10.00 (?100,000) and VIP/Metro Mass Transit Buses, pay 20.00 (?200,000).
Speaking to the matter on Joy FM’s weekend current affairs programme, Newsfile, Mr. Ayariga said poor planning leading to the closure of the Adomi Bridge has worsened the inconvenience and hardships of the people in the area, as well as travelers from afar who ply the lake.
The Information Minister, among others also pointed to government’s failure to make broad consultations, especially with Members of Parliament, whose constituencies are likely to be affected most by the closure. This, he said, has led to these Members of Parliament being inundated with calls from angry constituents.
Mr. Ayariga also described as unacceptable the high fares being charged by the Pontoon operators to commute passengers and their goods cross the lake, though he was silent on any action by government to alleviate the people’s plight in this regard.
The Hon. Minister for Information and Media Relations used the Programme’s platform to apologise on behalf of President Mahama and the government, for the hardships brought about by the incompetent manner in which the bridge was closed. He also apologized to his fellow Party MP, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa for the stress he is being subjected to by his North Tongu Constituents, as a result of his own party’s incompetence.