Civil Engineer, Abdullai Mahama, has said that the delay in payment of road contractors in Ghana has contributed to the poor roads in the country.
Explaining why this is so, he told Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show that when road contractors abandon road projects due to non-payment of debts owed them, the level of the construction is often left at the mercy of conditions such as rainfall, among others which weaken the foundation of the projects when it is returned to after a year.
“One of the reasons why roads will be constructed in a month or two and then within a year the roads will go bad is because when you start a road you start with your formation such as the red gravel. Then you come to your stuff base where we have two types to increase the strength of your stuff base like five percent of cement or chippings; what we call chemical stabilizations and mechanical stabilizations. That is just to ensure that you are strengthening the gravels. When you are done with that one, you go to the next stage and then the next before you come to the final material and in all those layers, by the international standards or mode of practice, it should not stay for more than a year before you put in the next layer.
But because it will cost so much money to go back to where they left off, they will proceed with the next layer after which the previous layer has been undermined by the rains or other conditions so it is not so satisfactory for the next layer”, he explained.
He kicked against criticizing road contractors who abandon road projects due to non-payment of their arrears by stating that in all their contracts, these road contractors are allowed to suspend their work or to reduce the workload until they are paid their monies. “The contractor is just evoking the conditions of the contract of payment. How can a contractor be working and be owed about 10million Ghana Cedis or dollars and it’s not paid for a year?” he added.
Commenting on the way forward, he advised, “Government should allocate money for the reinstating of the actual layer that was there in the suspension of work. When it is overlooked and the contractor continues with the various layers, once the foundation is susceptible to damage, within one year, the road will be destroyed. That is a major problem in the country”.
A report by the New Crusading Guide today stated that some members of the Ghana Road Contractors Association have bemoaned Government’s decision to pay customers of defunct DKM at the expense of huge arrears owed them by the Government.
By: Alberta Dorcas N D Armah
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