The Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry (GCCI) is urging government to abandon plans to use concrete to construct roads including the expansion of the deteriorated Accra-Tema motorway.
Asphalt hot mix overlay
Rather, government should use 200mm or 300mm asphalt hot mix overlay measuring 12 inches to reconstruct the Accra-Tema motorway to take care of heavy loads and high traffic.
15% -20% cost savings
According to the Chamber, using asphalt will reduce the cost of reconstructing of the Accra-Tema Motorway by between 15% and 20%.
Man hours to be saved
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry Emmanuel Cherry told The Finder that the financial savings to be made can be used to construct other roads not forgetting the man hours to be saved.
It is expensive to maintain concrete roads
He explained that the cost of maintaining asphalted roads is far cheaper compared to concrete roads
Concrete roads in the Tema enclave cracking
He cited some concrete roads in the Tema enclave which are cracking saying the weather in the country do not support building of concrete roads.
Curing of concrete roads take months
Cherry also pointed out that curing of concrete roads take long citing Accra-Tema Motorway which was completed in 1964 but opened to traffic in 1965 because the curing took about seven months.
Curing is the maintenance of a satisfactory moisture content and temperature in concrete for a period of time immediately following placing and finishing so that the desired properties may develop.
Concrete expensive than asphalt
Despite new technology to reduce long curing during, he believes it is not worth it coupled with concrete being expensive as compared to asphalt.
USA, Germany reverting to asphalt
Because of new technology, he stated that countries such as the United States of America, Germany among others now build roads with asphalt overlay instead of concrete.
Accra-Tema Motorway interchange
Though the Accra-Tema Motorway interchange contract was given to a foreign contractor, Cherry said 90% of the works were done by a local contractor.
Flyover on the motorway
According to him, the flyover on the motorway to Flower Port on the Spintex Road was also given to a foreign contractor but a local contractor is doing a greater part of the work.
Impact of high lending rates
He cited high lending rates as a major killer making it difficult for local contractors to mobilise funding locally for projects.
$570m Commercial Contract with Mota-Engil
The Ministry for Roads and Highways has signed a Commercial Contract worth $570 million with Mota-Engil, Engenharia E Construcao Africa SA,in December 2020.
Financing arrangements in limbo
However, as of now, the financing arrangements are yet to be concluded for construction to commence.
Local contractors can do the job
Cherry appealed to government to give the project to local contractors under same terms and conditions given to Mota Engil.
Ministry reserves 40% for local contractors
The ministry had earlier indicated that 40% of all works on the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project were reserved for local contractors.
Scope of work
The scope of work of the project entails a 10 – lane 19.5km motorway comprising four lanes of reinforced concrete freeway, six lanes of Urban Highway), Reconstruction of Tetteh Quarshie to Apenkwa (5.7 km), Remodeling of Tetteh Quarshie, Apenkwa and Achimota Interchanges, Construction of five new Interchanges at Lashibi, Abattoir, Teshie Link, Fiesta Royale and Neoplan junction, 14 Pedestrian Footbridges, Toll Plazas and Streetlights.
5 lanes each on both sides
When completed, the project would be five lanes each on both sides of the main Accra-Tema Motorway stretch and six lanes each on the Tetteh Quarshie-Apenkwa stretch of the road.
2-lane dual carriageway freeway, 3 lane dual urban highway
It will have two-lane dual carriageway for the freeway and a three-lane dual carriageway for the urban highway.
Concrete for freeway, asphaltic concrete for highway
The freeway will remain concrete surfacing whilst the urban highway will be in asphaltic concrete with paved shoulders.
Motorway open to traffic in 1965
The concrete Accra-Tema Motorway was opened to traffic in November 30, 1965 to link the Harbour City of Tema to Accra
Road crashes on motorway
The number of road accidents that occur on the motorway as a result of its poor state is alarming.
107 crashes killed 39, injured 150
Data compiled the Police Motor Traffic and Transport Department, shows that the 107 crashes recorded on the Accra-Tema Motorway in 2018 killed 39 people and injured 150 commuters.
75 crashes killed 36, injured 91
In 2019, some 75 crashes claimed the lives of 36 travelers while injuring 91 commuters.
80 crashes killed 22, injured 74
For 2020, some 80 crashes were recorded killing 22 and injured 74 travelers.
105 crashes killed 39, injured another 39
In respect of 2021, the Accra-Tema Motorway recorded 105 crashes, killed 39 and injured 39 others.