On Wednesday 4th December 2019, stakeholders and implementing partners of the Moyamba-Moyamba Road and Bridges Projects, from the European Union Delegation in Sierra Leone, National Authorising office, Sierra Leone Roads Authority, CSE and Consulting Engineers, Politecnica, conducted their monthly site monitoring visit to assess progress so far on the construction work.
The project which is Funded by the European Union, costs €40.7 million and provides for the rehabilitation of 33km of road between Moyamba and Moyamba Junction, and four bridges. These include one over Gbangbama River, another over Yambatui River in Moyamba town, and the construction of two-lane bridges over the Rokel River (Magbele Bridge) and the Ribi River (Mabang Bridge).
Robert Andrew Ganda is Head of Education and Infrastructure of the National Authorising Office (NAO-the Contracting Authority). He said they are quite satisfied with the quality of work done so far but stressed the need for the Contractor, CSE to double their effort so that they can live up to the expected date of completion, which is 26 March 2020.
In his monthly progress update, Houcine Anaibi, the Resident Engineer of Politecnica Ingegneria ed Architettura Soc. Coop. (Italian Consulting Engineering Firm supervising the project work – ref. www.politecnica.it ), stated that the progress of the project status stands at 16.340 km subgrade, 15.000 km of subbase and 13.100 km of base layer is completed. Noting that the total asphalt surfacing (tarred) completed is 10.050km.
Despite the impressive progress made on the construction work, it has suffered some challenges, mainly due to the long period of rain experienced this year and the issue of payment of compensation for property within the Right of Way (ROW).Lot1 of the project (Moyamba-Moyamba Junction Road) has pending sections within the ROW for land and property compensation to be completed as the Contractor skipped several villages where compensation was not yet paid. The Sierra Roads Authority (SLRA) is still negotiating with the Ministry of Finance to pay compensations to the property owners as soon as possible. “This is the major threat to the progress of this project”, says James Faya, SLRA’s Project Engineer. Mr. Faya cautioned that if compensations are not paid in time it will affect the Contractor’s ability to complete work within the project deadline.
Abdoul Adrame Sow, Project Manager Lot 1 for CSE, is however confident that despite 83% of the original contract period is gone, CSE can still finish work within the remaining time as they are working tirelessly to meet the deadline date of the project. Though conditionally stating that if all partners fulfill their own obligations to the contract.
When completed, the Moyamba-Moyamba Junction Road and Bridges project will improve the road link between Moyamba town and the recently rehabilitated Masiaka-Bo Highway, thus facilitating easy access to the South-Eastern part of the country. Its benefits will include reduced vehicle operating costs, travel time and increased rural development.
Road Infrastructureis an ad-hoc intervention under the 11th European Development Fund National Indicative Programme that will complete the last segment of the EU-funded Conakry-Freetown-Monrovia highway (Bandajuma to Liberia Border Road and Bridges) and now Moyamba-Moyamba Junction Road and Bridges. The National Authorising Officer (NAO) is the principal management and executing agency within the framework of the co-operation between the European Union (EU) and the and the Government of Sierra Leone.