MONROVIA, Montserrado – Maintenance works on community roads in Monrovia are gaining momentum, three months after the German government signed an agreement with the Ministry of Public Works to provide US$300,000 to finance the maintenance of 41 kilometers of roads, including the St. Paul River Bridge.
The agreement was part of the German government’s Capacity Development in the Transport Sector program, which aims to assist responsible public institutions and Liberia’s private sector to implement reforms in accordance with the National Transport Master Plan. It is being implemented through the German development corporation, GIZ, on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and co-funded by the European Union.
The project includes the maintenance of the 12-kilometer Caldwell-Louisiana road, the 2.7 km Clara Town to Jamaica road, another 8.4 km Neezoe-Parker Paint-Zayzay, and an 8.4 km stretch of road through A.B. Tolbert Road, Duport Road, and Dillon Avenue. Others are the maintenance of the 9.5 km road from Congo Town Back Road to SKD Boulevard and GSA Road and the St. Paul Bridge near Bushrod Island. Six Liberian construction companies were hired by the Ministry of Public Works to implement the project.
According to Lawrence Diggs, general manager of Globah Tech, which is implementing the Clara Town – Jamaica road project, his company was hired to reopen clogged drainages in order to prevent flooding that can cause damages to the roads, especially during the rainy season.
“Lot of times when it rains, the communities get flooded. So, we’re doing this to stop the community roads from being flooded,” Diggs told reporters on Tuesday.
He said his men are using locally made tools to remove debris from the drainages and have them opened for free flow of water when it rains. The maintenance on the 2.7 km road cost US$20,835. Diggs said they have completed more than half of the project.
Progress on the maintenance work on the St. Paul River Bridge, which was recently in an untidy state because of the lack of routine maintenance in years, is also said to be at an accelerated pace.
The local company BMC Group Incorporated is carrying out the maintenance at the cost of US$141,405. The company began work in February this year.
The government engineer assigned to the project, Peresih Blapoh Wango, disclosed in an interview that the project is at the 60 percent completion mark.
Wango disclosed that contractors are enforcing protection of the bridge’s embankments, preparing the decks, and giving it a structural facelift. She said guard rails are also being erected and measures are also being taken to minimize the effect of erosion on the bridge.
“There has been no routine maintenance work on this bridge for many years. And if you don’t maintain the bridges, they are going to fail. That is the problem with most of our bridges here,” she said. “But as you can see, we are giving it a structural facelift that is going to help in the integrity.”
She said prior to the ongoing maintenance works, the bridge, though still in use, was a dump site for garbage and latrine.
Meanwhile, GIZ’s adviser for capacity building in the transport sector, Yana Tumakova, stressed the need for road users, especially the community dwellers, to appreciate the works being done and sustain the progress being made.
“It is very important that the drainages are cleaned. No waste must be placed there because the drainages are there for taking away the water from the road to protect the road,” Tumakova said.
“Here at the St. Paul Bridge, it is very important that this area is clean and free of any waste so that the bridge can last and be of service to the people.”
Featured photo by Gbatemah Senah