Liberia: “Completion of Fish Town-Harper Road Phase One Spurring Development”- Acting Public Works Minister Ruth Coker

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Harper, Maryland County – Acting Public Works Minister Ruth Coker has hailed the completion of phase one of the Fish Town- Harper Road in southeastern Liberia, saying it is “contributing greatly to the growth and development of the region.”

Phase one of the Fish Town-Harper Road project covers the 50 kilometers Harper to Karloken stretch and the 16 kilometers Harper Junction to Cavalla Customs road.

Speaking at the dedication of the road, Minister Coker said the completion of the road has improved internal and cross-border trade in Ivory Coast, especially the export of palm and rubber by the Maryland Oil Palm Planation (MOPP) and the Cavalla Rubber Corporation (CRC), among others.

According to her, the Fish Town Harper Road Project is part of the 510km road linking Ganta to Harper as part of the Trans West African Highway (Lagos – Nouakchott), and it seeks to improve roads connectivity, to reduce travel time, cost reduction for vehicle operation and maintenance and socio-economic development, amongst others.

Giving detail information about the project, she stated that the civil works supervision was implemented by the Work Consultant (Comptran Engineering and Planning in association with NIRAS) Ghana-Demark, and actual construction works carried out by the Contractor (China Railway No.5 Engineering Group Ltd. Co.) China; while the day to day management of the project was  implemented by the Ministry of Public Works through the Project Implementation Unit with aid from other government line ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning  and EPA.

Speaking further, she outlined that the project corridors (50km and 16km) which took three years of construction and one-year defects monitoring, comprise a two lane 3.65m with 2.0m shoulder on both side in the rural section, two- lane 3.65 with 2.0m walkway on both sides in urban sections and three newly constructed concrete bridges and one rehabilitated Concrete bridge and eight box Culverts, among others.

On September 5, 2013, the Government of Liberia signed the Protocol and Loan Agreement with the African Development Bank Group to prioritize the Fish Town Harper Road Project Phase I, as well as the maintenance of the existing laterite road from  Karloken to Fish Town (80km)] in order to improve major road corridors within the Southeast.

The total cost of the civil works component, the Minister noted, stands at $55.4million, including constructions of the Youkudi Clinic, one Public Market, Pleebo Lorry Park and the improvement of the Pleebo City Hall driveway, among others.

Addressing President Weah, Madam Coker said during the project implementation, over 300 Liberian youths were employed by the civil works contractors and several Liberian capacities were built.

She said: “Your Excellency, the Fish Town Harper Road Project Phase I also comprised of capacity building activities (Master Degree Programs: four employees of the Ministry of Public Works returned with masters in Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Transport Economic & Structural Engineering. For hands on training, four young graduates from the Tubman University Engineering Department were trained by the Consultant; and 12 Employees/Project Staff benefited from short-term professional training in various disciplines.”

She added that a total of $64.56 million dollars was allocated for the project and sourced from several financing arrangements including the African Development Fund (US$22.23 million UA Loan), African Development Fund (US$22.23 million UA Loan), Nigerian Trust Fund (US$6.5 Million UA Loan), Fragile State Facility (US$13.31 Million UA Grant), Government of Liberia (US$1 Million UA Counter Part Funding/Compensation for Project Affected Persons).

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