THE Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, has indicated that the government is making efforts to replace deteriorated bridges in the country to “open up communities which hitherto were cut off due to water crossing points”.
He said already, 50 Czech steel bridges, with a total span of 1500 meters secured through Messrs Knights A/S, were being fixed across the country.
Of the 50 bridges, which were provided through support from the Czech government, 34 have been launched while 10 are substantially completed and ready for use.
Some of the substantially completed bridges include the Bridge over the stream at Taifa-Dome in the Greater Accra Region, the bridge over the Okurudu Stream at Kpormettey in the Central Region, the bridge over the Birim River on Akim Mamponp-Adasawase road in the Eastern Region, the bridge on the Kokoso-Bohyen Road in the Ashanti Region and the bridge over the Kamba River on Sentu-Girigan-Kpari road in the Upper West Region.
These were disclosed when the Minister led a delegation to the Czech Republic at the invitation of Messrs Knights A/S to discuss the progress of the installation of 50 steel bridges in Ghana by Knight, secured under a Czech export credit facility and negotiate for an additional 100 of the steel bridges.
According to Minister, the bridges would help reduce travel time and make the movement of people from local communities more accessible, as well as remove traffic bottlenecks at river crossings and contribute to the growth of the agricultural sector.
“The additional 100no. bridges, when secured, will be used on feeder roads across the country to help improve accessibility in farming communities and also replace some existing steel bridges that have deteriorated over the years,” the Minister said.
Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Attah was accompanied by Ing Dr Abass Mohammed Awolu, Chief Director of the Ministry of Roads & Highways, H.E James Nyasembi, and H.E Ahmad Tijani Abubakari, Ambassador and Deputy Ambassador, respectively, of Ghana to the Czech Republic, Dr Karl Laryea, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Knight, Mr Lanka Laryea, President of Knight and other officials from the Ghanaian Embassy in the Czech Republic.
As part of the three-day working visit to the Czech Republic, the Minister held bilateral meetings with officials of ČSOB Bank, EGAP (Czech Insurance company), Raiffeisen Bank, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Transport, Trade & Industry of the Czech Republic.
During these meetings, Mr Amoako-Attah eulogised the cordial relations between Ghana and the Czech Republic dating back to 1959 and the role of Czech investment has played in the economic development of Ghana.
He particularly underscored the critical role of steel bridges in complementing the development of road infrastructure in Ghana.
While informing them of the positive outcome of Ghana’s negotiations with the IMF, the Minister appealed for more support in the supply of steel bridges.
On his part, the CEO of EGAP, Dr David Havelicek, expressed satisfaction with the progress Knight A/S has made in the installation of 50 steel bridges in Ghana and assured the Minister of his company’s support.
Contract agreements for the Design, Supply and Installation and Related Civil Works for 50 Composite Bridges and for the Financing of the Project were signed by the Ghana Government, Knights A/S and the Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Bank on 2nd April 2019.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic, Martin Kupka has invited Hon. Amoako-Attah to the World Road and Road Transport Conference to be held in Prague, Czech Republic in October, this year.