Alert: Tragedy in waiting at Kumasi Sofo-line interchange

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It is sad when millions of Ghana cedis are flushed down the drain by our ‘caring politicians’ just for ‘political shay-gay’ without taking into account the lives they put at risk; aside the huge sums of money wasted.

Construction work began in earnest on the Sofoline interchange in Kumasi in March, 2008.

This gave hope to residents of Kumasi that the traffic congestion in one of the busiest roundabouts in the metropolis – Sofoline – would soon be a thing of the past.

Traffic from the Abrepo junction and Patasi roads are to be directed to the Sunyani road through an underpass bridge.
The construction of the interchange forms part of the 10.3 kilometre Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital-Abuakwa dual carriageway corridor of the main Kumasi- Sunyani road rehabilitation project.

The project involves five main components, mainly- the widening of the road from the KATH to Abuakwa, the construction of an interchange at KATH and the Sofoline, as well as the construction of five underpass bridges along the road and the landscaping of the entire road network.

It will also cater for the landscaping of all road medians and selected open spaces abutting the road and within the interchange loops.

President J. A. Kufuor cut the sod in 2007 for work to commence on the estimated ¢732 billion ($80 million) project.
The Chinese construction firm, Messrs China Geo Engineering Corporation, is executing the project and it is being supervised by ABP Consulting Engineers from Ghana.

Soaked Foundation

But, today this project has been left to rot with all the millions of money put into it.

Lack of supervision and monitoring has left the gigantic structure in a state of worry, as the pedestrian subway is now filled with solid and liquid waste coming in from the surrounding environment and heavy rain downpour.

Stagnant water in the tunnel/subway does not only serve as a breeding site for the mosquitoes which puts inhabitants of the nearby residents at high risk, it also has the potential of weakening the foundation of the entire project if care is not taken to revisit and maintain the structure.

Slum Settlement

To add to the worry of the situation is the emergence of a slum just underneath the interchange which does not only beat the minds of many in terms of its ugliness but how some persons could just decide to take a high risk to put their own lives in danger and live in such an area with their families.

This affirms a submission made at the floor of parliament in November, 2016 by the member of Parliament (MP) for Mahnyia South Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, as he alleged that the NDC government had abrogated the Sofoline interchange project with the Chinese Construction Company, China Geo Engineering Corporation.

He said government had officially written to managers of China Geo Engineering Corporation they have terminated the contract for lack of funds.

“Government has officially written to the company to abrogate the contract because they say they have no money. This is the same government that says it loves the people of Ashanti region. The project is also not complete”, he disclosed on Abusua Nkomo hosted by Kwame Adinkra.

According to him, President John Dramani Mahama did not mean well for the people of the Ashanti Region citing the termination of contract with contractors working on the Sofoline interchange as an example.