The Ofankor-Nsawam road has become one of the most important roads in the country because of the places it connects, and the number of users and the volume of traffic on it.
This stretch connects Accra to the south and Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, through to the northern parts of the country and beyond to as far as the Sahel region of the West African sub-region.
It must be noted that the country’s land-locked neighbours make use of its sea ports and as such carry goods from the ports to their various destinations using the Ofankor-Nsawam stretch as part of their journey.
Also, the communities on the stretch have expanded and new ones have emerged.
The current situation is such that traffic congestion on the stretch has become unexpectedly unbearable.
As a result, the government decided to reconstruct it.
So far, an imposing interchange has been constructed at Pokuase and currently the whole Ofankor-Nsawam road is being reconstructed into a dual carriageway at the cost of $346.5 million.
The resident engineer, Mr Thomas David Arthur, has disclosed that the project which commenced on July 20, 2022 will be completed on July 20, 2024, which is exactly a period of 24 months.
We wonder though whether this will materialise, considering the fact that September 20, which is 10 days from today, marks 14 months out of the 24 and only 40 per cent of the works have so far been completed.
That notwithstanding, we think the reconstruction of the stretch has some uniqueness that must be praised.
We first commend the joint funding by the government and Maripoma Enterprise Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian construction company, which is also executing the project under a Design and Build Contract with Associated Consultants Limited supervising.
We think this is an example that must be emulated by other local companies with all the necessary muscle, not only in the construction sector but elsewhere.
This can give the government some breathing space to extend financial assistance to sectors of the economy that cannot attract such partnership.
The other aspect of that uniqueness has to do with the facilities involved in the project.
Imagine the creation of eight lanes from Ofankor to the Pokuase Interchange and 10 from the Pokuase Interchange to the Nsawam bypass.
This would certainly ease congestion on the stretch, reducing hours spent on it to save its users wasted man-hours, discomfort and environmental and health-related issues, which together undermine the socio-economic progress of both the citizens and the country.
Having the main carriage (the mid-section) from the Pokuase Interchange to Nsawam bypass as an express route with the outer lanes as service roads for the communities on the stretch can be described as another novelty on the country’s major routes.
Readers can refer to our lead story for other facilities.
Obviously, the Ofankor-Nsawam stretch forms part of an international route and so it is our hope that other stretches like it such as Malam Junction- Gomoa Akotsi on the Accra-Cape Coast Road will equally be reconstructed.
The Malam Junction- Gomoa Akotsi actually needs urgent attention because it forms part of the Trans-West African Coastal Highway or the Tran-ECOWAS route and the traffic congestion on it is highly worrying,
That needs to be fixed by reconstructing it into the necessary number of lanes and provided with the needed facilities.