By Iddi Yire
Accra, March. 03, GNA – Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Minister of Roads and Highways, has informed Parliament that the Government will fix the damaged bridge on the Chiana-Sandema Road in the Upper East Region.
He noted that the Government was taking action on the bridge under this year’s budget; saying “We are treating it as an emergency project because of its importance”.
Mr Amoako-Attah gave the assurance on Friday on the floor of Parliament in his response to an urgent question by Mr Thomas Dalu, National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana-Paga.
The MP asked the Minister of Roads and Highways what plans the Ministry had to fix the damaged bridge on the Chiana-Sandema Road.
The Minister said the Chiana-Sandema Road was a classified 13-km interdistrict road connecting the Bulsa North Municipality and the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
He said the road was an engineered interdistrict graveled surfaced road, which was in fair condition.
He said the bridge in question was a 10 by 4 cell culvert in varying dimensions and that the culvert had lost its structural integrity and was gradually caving in.
Mr Amoako-Attah said the Ministry had advised the Bulsa North Municipal Assembly to take the necessary steps to block motorists from plying the road to save lives and property.
He said currently, there was no programme on the drainage structure, but the future programme, and, the Department of Feeder Roads had carried out an assessment on the drainage structure and had recommended culverts to replace the existing structure.
He said works on the project would be considered under the emergency funding of the Ministry of Roads and Highways under the 2023 budget.
He noted that the road was a critical road and the culverts used in constructing the bridge, which was a 10 cell culverts informed that it was a major bridge.
Adding that for a culvert to have as many as 10 cells already suggested that the structure was a major one.
He said before the replacement of the culvert would be done, to prevent imminent danger and to protect life and property, the Ministry had advised that the road should be closed.
He said where the culvert was a feeder road, but there was the main highway which could be used for the diversion as they worked to fix the bridge.
Mr Amoako-Attah said they would take advantage of the dry season to fix the damaged bridge because it was sited in a river channel.
He noted that where the culvert was a river channel and that when it rains, it would impede efforts by the contractor to replace the culvert.