Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia yesterday cut the sod for the construction of the first-ever interchange in the Western Region at a ceremony in Takoradi.

This historic Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, which is part of the Synohydro agreement, will be constructed at the PTC Roundabout in Takoradi.

It brings to six the number of interchanges the Akufo-Addo government has started in its first term.

The others are the Tema interchange, which has been completed, the Obetsebi Lamptey, Pokuase, Nungua and Tamale interchanges.

Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony, Vice President Bawumia said the construction of the interchange, which will enhance free flow of traffic in Takoradi, forms part of government’s broader vision of providing infrastructure for all, as well as government’s specific program to improve road infrastructure in the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi.

“The construction of the PTC Interchange fits into the Government’s program of improving the road infrastructure of Sekondi-Takoradi and to modernize the twin city,” Dr. Bawumia said.

Dr. Bawumia added that apart from the construction of the PTC interchange, the Akufo-Addo government is also undertaking road improvements within the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis such as road network around the Paa Grant roundabout to Effia Nkwanta Hospital.

He added that the Accra Road, the  Sekondi Road from the Paa Grant Roundabout, as well as  the Adiembra Road from Effia Nkwanta Hospital will be widened to dual carriage ways.

On the Akufo-Addo government’s massive infrastructure development agenda nationwide, Dr. Bawumia said prior to the 2016 election, the NPP conducted a survey on the development of Ghana and the survey, which he said informed the NPP’s 2016 Manifesto, also revealed profound challenges, including huge infrastructure deficit and uneven distribution of projects. 

“In line with the government’s agenda to ensure inclusive and accelerated economic development, we have focused our efforts in the first term in office to provide infrastructure for all.

“Our approach to the infrastructure development of Ghana has been twofold: first, to provide for the infrastructure needs of the poor and deprived communities for services such as water, toilets, clinics and electricity. Second, to provide for the broader infrastructure needs of the economy at the macro-level to drive economic growth, such as ports, major highways and inner-city roads and bridges”, Dr Bawumia added.

He stressed that the Akufo-Addo government’s strategy for infrastructure development is to provide people their real needs at both urban and rural levels to help economic activities.

“Our thinking about infrastructure for all includes all the amenities that people need in order to unleash the potentials for growth in their communities, constituencies, and districts, and ultimately improve the conditions of everyday living.

“These are needed to support industrial growth and other supporting economic activities, especially in the urban areas (such as the Takoradi-Sekondi Metropolis).”

The Vice President said the construction of Takoradi’s first interchange will significantly address traffic congestion in the City, especially the PTC and Paa Grant roundabout areas, which he said data from Department of Urban Roads estimate traffic congestion at 4.5%, higher than the national estimate of 3.5%.

“The need for road improvements through the central Business District shall increase with the redevelopment of the Takoradi Market Circle into a modern commercial hub, and the Port Expansion Project to position Takoradi as a major port for commodity exports.”