Contractors working to expand portions of the Tema-Aflao highway have proposed to install traffic signals at the Kpone Barrier junction as a temporary measure to address the periodic gridlock along the stretch.
The move, according to the Project Consultant, Mr Magnus Quarshie, was to ensure a temporary free flow of traffic while contractors worked on the 17-kilometre span from the TT Brothers Traffic Light to the Central University area at Miotso.
The project is being financed from the UK Export Finance (UKEF) at $105 million.
Mr Quarshie proposed the temporary measure to the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, when he visited the project site last Tuesday as part of his tour of some roads in the Greater Accra Region.
The Tema-Aflao road forms a part of the Abidjan-Lagos corridor project that spans more than 1,000 kilometres (km), connecting Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
The sub-regional integration project, to be funded mainly by ECOWAS and the African Development Bank, is expected to promote the free movement agenda of ECOWAS, generate social and economic activities, promote cross-border trade, and integrate the economies of countries in the region.
The project consultant explained that the traffic signals had become necessary, saying the start of the main project could compound the already stressed situation along the stretch.
The Tema-Aflao road project entails the construction of four new lanes on the shoulders of the existing two in order to form a “three lanes in, three lanes out” road (six lanes in all).
The project will be carried out by BHM Construction International, a British company in the business of construction, improvement, and maintenance works for airports, roads, marine, and mining facilities.
“The growing traffic in the area has seen most motorists mostly using the shoulders of the road, and that also goes to compromise safety on the road. However, when there is a traffic signal and every motorist is aware that it will get to their turn, there will be some form of discipline, which could significantly reduce congestion,” Mr Quarshie said.
He also proposed the construction of a Bailey bridge — a portable, pre-fabricated metal bridge — to connect Kpone to Prampram to relieve motorists driving from Prampram to Tema from using the main Tema-Kpone Barrier junction to ease the pressure.
Mr Amoako-Attah noted that there would be four interchanges within the Kpone junction road project to cater for the heavy settlements within the enclave.
He said the congestion was a major concern to the government considering that the road was a major trade route within the ECOWAS bloc.
“These immediate steps are to ensure some form of efficiency for the motoring and the trading public since congestion issues are also health and safety issues,” the minister said.