By Nicholas Osei-Wusu
There is uncertainty around the commencement date for construction of Component 1 of the Suame Interchange in the newly created Suame Municipality of the Ashanti region.
Component 1 of the project involves construction of the main facility of the 4-tier interchange at the current roundabout.
According to the Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah, the date for commencement of construction can only be confirmed when the final project design is ready, but hoped that work will start by the end of March 2024.
“I can’t give you the date because they themselves couldn’t give me the exact time they’d start because the design is not complete. So, until the design is complete, it’ll be difficult for anyone, even the Consultant and Contractors or even the Ministry of Roads and Highways, to indicate that we’re beginning tomorrow or we’re beginning the next day. But hopefully, they’ll begin within the shortest possible time, within the 1st quarter of next year. So let’s pray that by that time, they’d have finished the Design,” the Regional Minister explained to GBC News in an interview during a working tour of the project site by members of the Aahanti Regional Security Council, REGSEC, which he chairs.
President Akufo-Addo broke ground for the start of construction on the Suame interchange in November, during which the site was handed over to Rango Construction Limited, an indigenous firm.
The Suame roundabout, being converted into the proposed 4-tier interchange, is the biggest in the Ashanti region and is heavily patronised by travelers to and from almost all parts of the country through Kumasi.
But there have been growing concerns by residents within Ashanti, motorists, and commuters using the roundabout about the slow pace of construction works and how they are causing movement difficulties.
This is what caused the Ashanti REGSEC to tour the project site to learn firsthand about the progress of work.
The REGSEC members first visited the Project Camp of the construction company, where they were conducted around activities being undertaken as part of the project.
It came to light during the tour that the contractor is rather executing Component Two of the project which involves the construction of local roads.
This encompasses the drainage system, widening of the existing dual carriage into three lanes on each side. Soon, work on the three overpasses at strategic locations, including the Anomanye Junction, will start.
This component of the construction, which has a 24-month schedule, is expected to be completed by February 2025.
A Supervisor of the project’s consulting firm, Associated Consultant Limited, Denis Boateng, shed light on what this component of the project entails and the stage it has gotten to.
“The design and construction of the Suame Interchange 15 divided into two components. The first component is the construction of the Suame interchange at the Suame roundabout. The 2nd component is what we call the local roads component. We’re currently dealing with the local roads component and the local roads component is for a 24-month period. We’ve gone through a period of six months that was dedicated to the design and design review of all the designs that the contractor submitted. We’re transitioning from the design, review period to construction. And currently, we’ve started from the Offinso-Suame road, widening of the road and also doing some drains,” the Consultant Supervisor explained to GBC News.
The REGSEC Chairman had to forcibly eject some traders and hawkers who had strayed into the main construction site at the Suame Light Industrial Area to do business to avoid any accident.
The REGSEC Chairman admitted that projects of this nature come with difficulties for residents within the enclave as well as commuters and motorists and therefore pleaded with them to cooperate with the contractor.
He, however, urged the Contractor to consider amending its work schedule to hasten the completion time.