The Government of Liberia and the European Union have broken ground for the rehabilitation of a 116.9km road from St. Paul Bridge, Montserrado County to Bo Waterside corridor in Cape Mount County.
The road which was originally constructed in the mid 1980s by a Korean company called Daewoo had not been maintained for several years until in 2014 when the Liberian Government started reconditioning the road in order to avoid further deterioration. The government’s effort was short-lived due to lack of funding, according to the Ministry of Public Works. Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony yesterday in Bomi County, Deputy Public Works Minister for Technical Services, Claude E. Langley, said the construction of the road is critical for the maintenance of trade and social connectivity. Minister Langley indicated that the road maintenance contract is funded under the European Union project called “build-up capacity and preparedness of the Ministry of Public Works” through an EU grant. He assured the Liberian people that the Ministry can proudly say that through partnership with EU, the road lifespan will be extended and the quality of the riding surface will be improved for the next five years through a two-phased project. Public Works Deputy Minister noted that phase one of the projects will focus on continuous maintenance including cutting of vegetation along the road, cleaning of drainages to ensure that during the rainy season there is no water on the pavement to cause potholes along the road. According to him, phase two will be the initial repair of the areas identified by the ministry as bad spots along the road which pose threat to commuters traveling that route. “These failed sections have to be repaired before the down pour of heavy rains to avoid further defects,” he said. Speaking further, European Union Representative Tiina Intelmann reiterated the EU’s commitment in fostering the development agenda of the Liberian Government especially in the area of social development, focusing on road construction and rehabilitation. Ms. Intelmann said she was delighted to be part of the road rehabilitation inauguration and averred hoped that the Liberian Government will be able to meet up with its part of the commitment in maintaining the road. She pointed out that already, EU is currently maintaining the Gbarnga-Ganta and the Buchanan roads. The authorizing officer at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Jerry Taylor, clarified that the road project does not indicate the removal of the old asphalt and replacing it with new ones as expected, but that all potholes will be covered. He disclosed that there will also be roadside brushing. Mr. Taylor said currently EU is providing funding for road maintenance in the country, and called on community dwellers not to steal materials intended for the road rehabilitation. At the same time, Bomi County Superintendent Samuel Brown assured the contractor of the local authority’s commitment in securing the materials as well as providing manpower to carry out the project. Superintendent Brown recounted the numerous accidents and difficulties faced by commuters and farmers to travel to Monrovia and sell their local agriculture commodities. He noted that the rehabilitation of the road brings total relief to road users. The Bomi County Superintendent added that the road will also promote commerce and trade in Bomi, Cape Mount, and Gbarpolu counties.