The Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta says despite the COVID-19 pandemic, all ongoing road constructions across the country will continue.
He noted that “Despite all the problems and difficulties of COVID-19, your roads will not be affected. That is why up till date, no project has been stalled due to COVID-19. Even during the lockdown, His Excellency the President exempted road construction.”
Mr Amoako-Atta, said this at a press briefing in Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital when he paid a day's working visit to inspect major road construction sites across the Region, including the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakum stretch of road as well as the on-going asphalting at Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District.
Mr Amoako-Atta indicated that the Region had a total road network size of 3,760 kilometres, and out of that number, 406 kilometres, representing 11 percent were paved or brought to bitumen level.
He said 1,822 kilometres of roads were at gravel stage, representing 48 per cent, while 1,528 kilometres representing 41 per cent of the road network was at the earth stage.
He classified the 1,286 kilometres of roads work in the Region as good.
Mr Amoako-Atta said 1,624 kilometres of roads representing 43 per cent were considered to be fair, while 850 kilometres of roads representing 23 per cent were considered to be poor, saying, “There is greater concentration and focus on the road infrastructure of our nation,” he added.
According to him, even though President Akufo-Addo had declared this year as ‘year of roads’, it did not mean that other key sectors of the economy would be neglected.
He said there were 52 different road construction projects ongoing simultaneously in the Region, and explained that “Out of this 52, Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) was handling 20, Department of Feeder Roads was handling 23 and Department of Urban Roads was handling nine.”
He further explained that the GHA would cover a total of 288.4 kilometres of the road network, the Department of Urban Roads would cater for 50 kilometres and the Department of Feeder Roads would handle a total of 552 kilometres of the road network in the Region.
Mr Amoako-Atta said all Contractors were on site. “We are following up, and doing constant monitoring. The government will ensure that the contractors are on site by paying them from time to time to at least, meet their recurrent expenditures.”
The Minister said there were plans to work on 24 feeder roads in the Region, adding that, those roads had been identified, paved and inventory had been taken, “the cost estimates have been done, and they are being subjected through the procurement processes.”
“Within the next one and a half months, all these processes will be completed and these 24 projects will be added to the current ongoing 52 projects. This Region has gotten its fair share of the road infrastructure programme that the government is churning out.”
He said the government was working on five major bridges in the Region namely the Doninga Bridge in the Builsa North District, two in the Garu District, and the rest located at Kulungugu and Sisili respectively which were at various stages of completion.