Member of Parliament for the Adaklu in the Volta Region, Kwame Agbodza, says government’s decision to spend 30 million cedis to complete the footbridges on the Madina-Adenta highway will not end the avoidable killing of pedestrians on that road.
He argued the government could save a lot of money and at the same time solve the problem on that stretch of the N4 highway if it reclassifies the road from highway to urban road.
The MP grounded his argument on the fact that human settlements have sprung up along the highway with a 100 kilometre per hour speed, which residents say, has claimed 195 residents since the beginning of this year, though the police put the figure at 24.
Residents along the highway on Monday embarked on a peaceful walk to push for the completion of some six uncompleted footbridges along the stretch from Madina to Adenta.
The protest stems from the spate of pedestrian knockdowns on the stretch, with the latest being the killing of a first year student of the West Africa Senior High School (WASS) Thursday afternoon, which sparked spontaneous protest amid burning of car tyres.
Though government officials had said they could work on the uncompleted footbridges in 2019, last Thursday’s incident caused the government to make a U-turn as it announced contractors will within a week move to site to begin work.
But speaking on 3FM Sunrise, Mr. Agbodza explained to host, Winston Amoah that the state could save money on the completion of the bridge and still make meaningful impact if the government considers reclassifying the road.
“I sincerely don’t believe spending 30 million Ghana cedis on those footbridges will deal with the thing, reclassify the road, do other things and it will be probably a fraction of the money,” Mr. Agbodza contended.
For him, most of the highways in the country including the Tema Motor do no longer qualify to be highways because they have been inundated by human settlement.
He observed that there are a lot of incidents in the country where footbridges have been wrongly cited making it impossible for people to use so the construction of the footbridges per se may not solve the problem.
“I sincerely don’t believe that completing the footbridge alone will deal with the issue because we have seen in this country the location of some footbridges making it impossible for some people to use it,” he said.
He said it would be best to make them friendlier rather than treating them as highways.
Commenting on the Tema Motorway which has developed gaping holes and led to a number of accidents in the last few weeks, Mr. Abodza suggested it should be made more pedestrian friendly by redesigning it.