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Feb 16, 2015

Adomi Bridge rehabilitation progressing steadily

Rehabilitation works on the Adomi Bridge at Atimpoku in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region is progressing steadily.

The contractor, Messrs Bilfinger MCE GmbH of Austria, has so far executed about 67 per cent of the work in 11 months.

During a visit to the site last Wednesday, the Resident Engineer on the project, Mr Victor Nyantekyi Baah, expressed the hope that the bridge would be handed over to the government by the deadline of October.

The project started in March last year following the closure of the bridge and a relaunch of ferry services at Senchi and Akrade, two communities also in the Asuogyaman District.

The 56-year-old bridge serves as a critical connection between some parts of the Eastern Region and Juapong in the North Tongu District, Ho, Hohoe and other towns in the Volta Region.

The contractor is replacing the entire bridge deck with a new one. There are 23 sections and currently 21 of them have already been replaced.

Each bridge deck, prefabricated in Austria, comes in five pieces, but they are welded together before it is launched.

Also, 10 hanger cables had been replaced with the 11th and 12th cables being worked on. There are 40 hanger cables in all, each of which comes in two pairs.

Even though the old deck was made of concrete on steel, Mr Baah said the new bridge would be of asphalt on steel as the concrete was much heavier.

The two walkways on each side of the bridge would, however, be made of concrete on steel.

A new tollbooth would now be sited about 1.2 kilometres from the bridge.

A new feature, an inspection platform, would now be fixed under the bridge. The inspection platform, according to Mr Baah, would work hydraulically and could be operated at sections to detect any defects that might develop on the bridge.

He said the lack of this feature on the old bridge made such detections rather difficult.

Also, an improvised lift fabricated at the project site enables some of the artisans to move up the arch and work on the replacement of the hanger cables.

Under the contract, the government is required to give tax exemptions to the contractor but the Project Manager, Mr Paul Herrmann, said the company was yet to receive the Tax Exemption Certificate.

"This exemption, which we don't have, is one of the challenges we are facing, causing us expenses we are not prepared for," he stated.

According to him, the company had as at October last year paid more than GH¢100,000 in taxes to the state.

Meanwhile, the two ferries which were launched prior to the closure of the bridge are still operational and the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) has completed construction works on the Akuse-Old Akrade road which provides access from Akuse junction through the Volta River Authority ( VRA) Dam. – Graphic Online