A technology company, Knights Ghana Limited says it is ready to hand over 30 composite modular steel bridges to the government.

These bridges are meant to improve the daily activities of people and resolve critical challenges in communities and towns across the country as part of a Czech government support to Ghana.

The 30 bridges are part of the first 50-batch a €50-million project executed by Knights Ghana Limited, a subsidiary company of Knights a.s of the Czech Republic under an agreement between the governments of Ghana and the Czech Republic.

The Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Knights a.s of the Czech Republic, Dr Karl Laryea, who announced this in an interview after the launch of the 25th anniversary of the company in Accra ranging from a 20-metre span to a 50-metre.

He said the company had written to the government for official handing over of eight of them, which can be used now.

“The rest of the 22 are going through testing processes with small drainage systems needed to be completed by the ministry, which is not part of our scope of work,” he explained.

Dr Laryea explained that some of the bridges were replacements for old ones, while others were provided for the very first time.

Location of bridges

The bridges, which vary in length between 20 and 50 metres, are over the Okurudu stream at Kpormottey in the Central Region, the Okwenya Bridge over the Okwe River (Somanya-Akuse Junction Rd) in the Eastern Region, the Akim Mampong – Adasawase Bridge over the Birim River in the Eastern Region, the Community 19 Bridge at Klagon (Abattoir), Tema in the Greater Accra Region, the bridge over River Densu at Ayigbe Town, Weija in the Greater Accra Region, and the Community 12 Bridge at Klagon stream, also in the Greater Accra Region.

Others are the Ochi River Bridge on the Breman – Asikuma road in the Central Region, the Awotwe Jn – Awotwe Bridge over the Samri River in the Central Region; the bridge over the Densu River on the Nankese -Atwakan – Bomponso No 2 Road in the Eastern Region; the bridge over the stream on the Asokore – Kuma Road in the Eastern Region; the bridge over the stream on the Kyebi – Kasajan road in the Eastern Region; the bridge over the stream on the Adarkwa-Addo Nkwanta road in the Eastern Region; the bridge over the Banko River on the Essieninpong – Timeabu Road in the Ashanti Region, and the bridge over the Atekrom River on the Azimsum – Azoribisi road in the Upper East Region.

The rest are the bridge over the Kamba River on the Sentu-Girigan-Kpari road in the Upper West Region, the bridge over the Kaworo River on the Kunchogu – Kwapong road, also in the Upper West Region; the bridge over the Daka River on the Lanja – Bofoyili road in the Northern Region; the bridge over the Tano River on the Chiraa – Mankranho road in the Brong Ahafo Region; the bridge over the stream on the Ayensuakor – Doutu road in the Central Region; the bridge over the stream on the Sokode – Bame road in the Volta Region; the Osoroase Krobom – Sea Abenaso Bridge over the Sea River in the Eastern Region; the bridge over a stream on the Kokoso – Bohyen road in the Ashanti Region, the Senyeri – Gbiniyire bridge in the Northern Region, the Prestea– Hemang bridges and the Insu Junction-Oppong Valley Bridge both in the Western  Region, the North Ofankor-Taifa Burkina Bridge in the Greater Accra and the Susanso-Angloga Bridge  in the Ashanti Region as well as the Zuarangu – Gambibgo Bridge in the Upper East Region.  

Challenges

Explaining what accounted for the delay, Dr Laryea explained further that the bridges were to have been completed by May 31, 2022 but, “due to the COVID-19 pandemic and delays for the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Ghana Water Company to relocate the services lines, about four (4) of the sites are yet to begin.

He also mentioned that excess rainfall in the Western part of Ghana, as well as the Northern part of Ghana after spillage of the Bagre Dam prevented most of the contractors from working,”

Signing of MoU

Throwing more light on the project, Dr Laryea, said the number of bridges to be constructed were 200 during the signing in 2007, at a cost of €200 million.

He indicated that due to financial constraints, the contract was broken down into four tranches, and in April 2019, an agreement for the first tranche of 50 was signed.

Dr Laryea further explained that on that same day in April, a Czech Republic bank, Ceskoslovenska Obchodni banka, a.s. (CSOB), signed a loan agreement for the project with Ghana’s Ministry of Finance.

“This agreement came into force on June 1, 2020 and we are expected to complete it by the end of 2022. Out of the ongoing 50 bridges, we are supposed to fully inaugurate 25 of them by the end of March 2022, while the remaining 25 will be handed over to the ministry by the end of this year,” he explained.

Dr Laryea added that due to the “excellent work being done by Knights, the Minister of Roads and Highways had decided to start the process of acquiring funds for both the second and the third tranches this year, so that by 2023, when we would have finished with the first tranche, we can start the second tranche”.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.