Sofoline project suffers setback

MCC roadWork on the multi-million cedi Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) Junction-Sofoline-Abuakwa road project in Kumasi has suffered yet another slowdown due to a delay in the release of funds to the contractor.

This situation has compelled the contractor, China Geo Construction, to lay off its casual workers.

When the Daily Graphic team took a drive on the 11-kilometre road last Thursday, it came to light that only a skeletal workforce was at post.

Work on some sections of the road, including the Kwadaso/South Suntreso Junction-KATH Roundabout, had also stopped.

Sources close to the project told the Daily Graphic that the delay in the release of funds was hampering the operations of the contractors.

The solely government of Ghana-financed project, which started in August 2007 at an initial cost of GH¢73 million, was to be completed in 36 months.

However, work was suspended for about nine months in 2011 due to a delay in the payment of prepared certificates by the contractors.

Consequently, the contractors were given an 18-month extension to complete the work by July 31, 2013, with the contract sum reviewed upwards to GH¢99,869,953.87.

The extended deadline has elapsed, yet the work has not seen any signs of being completed anytime soon.

The Project Engineer of ABP Consult, the consultants to the project, Mr Kwaku Boampong, admitted the delay in the payment to the contractor but said the government had initiated steps to release funds.

“There is the likelihood that the money will reach the contractor soon,” he said in an interview.

He said everything was being done to complete the parts of the project where work had started already.

Mr Boampong said the Sofoline Interchange section, for instance, was about 92 per cent complete and that the remaining seven per cent would be completed before the end of this year.

The road project, which covers 11 kilometres of asphaltic concrete paved six-lane dual carriageway, also includes associated drains and the construction of an underpass at the KATH Roundabout.

The project, which is among some major road projects being undertaken to give Kumasi a facelift, also consists of the Sofoline Interchange.

Contractors have divided the work into three sections — the Abuakwa-Apatrapa Junction, the Apatrapa Junction-Bekwai Roundabout and the Bekwai Roundabout-KATH Roundabout.

Currently, much of the work that has been completed is on the six-kilometre Apatrapa Junction-Bekwai Roundabout portion, which includes the Sofoline Interchange.

Source: Daily Graphic

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