Monday, October 15, 2007
BRIDGE OVER BONSA RIVER UNDERWAY
By: KWAME ASIEDU MARFO, ESSUOSO
The government is constructing a 45-metre bailey bridge over the Bonsa River in the Essuoso Divisional Area in the Wassa West District of the Western Region to make the area accessible.
Concrete works for the bridge, which started last year, have been completed, while components for the construction of the bridge are expected from Britain.
A wooden bridge which spanned the river and provided access to the town, located at the two banks of the river, was destroyed when the river overflowed its banks.
There are no feeder roads in the area, compelling the people to walk along the railway line and the bailey bridge is to facilitate the construction of feeder roads in the area.
The Western Regional Engineer of the Department of Feeder Roads, Mr. Peter Yawson, who briefed the Regional Minister, Mr. A. E. Amoah, when the minister visited the project site, said five big bailey bridges were to be built in the region this year.
He stated that the importation of the components from Britain had delayed the completion of the bridge.
Mr. Yawson said the components, which had arrived in the country, could only be used to build bailey bridges of 35 metres of less and that the road which had been constructed up to the river, was to ensure the movement of the components to the project site.
He said after the construction of the bridge, a by-pass could be constructed to link the Kojokrom main road, adding that other roads would be constructed.
According to the feeder roads engineer, the beneficiary communities were also not being helpful since the farmers whose farms were destroyed were demanding very high compensation.
He explained that higher compensations increased the contract sums, which would either delay the projects or lead to their eventual termination.
According to Mr. Yawson, in future the engineers would sit down with the traditional rulers to discuss the projects for them to raise their concerns to forestall any confrontation.
The Regional Minister, Mr. Amoah, said he would discuss the bridge project with the authorities of the Department of Feeder Roads in Accra to ensure that the components arrived in time to complete the bridge.
He expressed concern about the complaints made by many communities about the delay or shoddy nature of project work in the area.
The Gyaasehene of the Essuoso Divisional Area, Nana Asare Kodwo, urged the engineers not to deal directly with the affected farmers in terms of compensation, but discuss the issue with the traditional authorities.
He stressed that the payment of compensation should not delay a project or cause the project to be abandoned.
Nana Asare said the construction of the bridge was very important to the people in the area since it would open up the communities.
Daily Graphic Monday, October 15, 2007 Page: 26