Liberia: Vehicle Belonging to Deputy Transport Minister Drives Into Ditch On the Robertsfield Highway

Monrovia — Three people are undergoing treatment after the vehicle belonging to Deputy Transport Minister J. Darious Kollie plunged into a deep ditch along the perilous RIA Highway.

The trio was en route to pick up Min. Kollie from the airport, FrontPageAfrica gathered.

The Robertsfield Highway has been under reconstruction since 2020 with too little progress made far.

The route was often described as being dangerous to travelers. Its state, however, became worse when the reconstruction began.

Mr. Adolphus McCrity, a seasoned engineer and architect attributed poor construction works ongoing at the RIA highway to the lack of proper planning and feasibility studies.

“This is a lack of coordination, proper planning and failure to do due diligence or feasibility studies before embarking on such a huge project. This is just being inconsiderate to the impact that this project will have on the environment and on the lives of people who live, work or travel on that particular highway. This is like giving somebody a job to do and the person goes about doing the job without even doing proper planning,” he told FrontPageAfrica in an exclusive interview.

Mr. Mccritty observed that the ongoing installation of culvert system did not take into consideration nature, especially the rainy season of Liberia.

He disclosed that efforts will be wasted and the road would elapsed as a result of the current situation.

“These people are bothering nature and they will not win unless they work with Mother Nature. They knew the rain was going to come. Those culverts you see off the road and some are stopping one side of the road- in front of those culverts, you see a pot of water there-eventually what’s going to happen is that, that water is going to shift over to the other side creating a soft spot in the road and the road is going to corrode and wash away and you have no way to travel back and forth the RIA route”.

“Any culvert-whether it is a box or ICP culvert, you have to have an inner gauge out; it’s like when you are trying to take gasoline from a container into your gas tank, why do you think you put the container with the gas at a higher elevation than where your gas tank is? It’s because, you want the gas to flow freely into your tank. But if you take a container and place it on the same level with your gas tank, it’s not going to work. That’s exactly what they are trying to do over there. They are putting culverts on the same level as the nature flow of water in that particular area. That’s the reason why you see the water is swallowing up the culverts.”

Mr. Mccritty emphasized that the current project will not be of benefit to Liberians and others if the substandard works that are being done remain.

He said it will be a total waste of taxpayers’ monies if corrective measures are not taken at this early stage to correct the wrongs before the project progresses to another level.

“This is complete waste of time, money and energy because, when you are doing a road widening project on a major road like the RIA, the first thing you do is that, you create a detour that is separate from where you are working. That makes the normal flow of traffic to not be impacted with the work that you’re doing”.

The project, which is being implemented through a China-Liberia joint venture with East International Group and China Railways being the contractors, worth about US$95m.

The framework calls for the project to be executed into three lots which include: 1) from Roberts International Airport to Junk River Bridge; 2) from Junk River Bridge to ELWA junction and; 3) the construction of the Junk River Bridge and the upgrading of the existing bridge.

The civil works with the actual construction of the road project is valued at US$80 million; design and supervision cost valued at US$7 million; and the management and resettlement action plan valued at US$7.5 million,” Madam Kialain explained. “The length of the road is 45 km or 27.8 miles.

The design of the road takes into consideration many factors, including population density, social activities, and the topography, which led the highway into different sections. The new road, when completed, will have a toll location, which is the Junk River Bridge.”

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