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Liberia’s new President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has vowed road expansions and improvements as a top priority for his Administration.
This commitment was contained in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Boakai campaigned on road development as a top priority in seeking to relieve the country of years of economic stagnation and ensure better transportation access across the oldest African Republic.
In his address on Monday, he said there has been some progress in the road and transport sector during the reviewed period but there are considerable challenges in road development.
“…The total paved roads in our national road network amount to only 1,131.1km, representing 8.7% percent of the 13,000 km road network we need,” Boakai said.
According to the Liberian president, the fact underscores considerable challenges in road infrastructure and the urgent need to fund road development in the country.
He also noted that with the assistance from friendly partners, the country made notable progress in paving some primary roads, including the Gbarnga to Salayea, the Ganta to Saclepea, the Ganta to Yekepa, and the Sanniquellie to Loguato corridors.
In addition, he said as of now, 37.7 percent of work on the ELWA to RIA Road Project has been accomplished.
“To access all county capitals, my Government will work to alleviate the problems faced by commuters using our primary roads, especially during the rainy season,” Boakai assured.
“This situation also causes major impediments to the economic development of our people, as these primary routes are major economic corridors to all parts of our country.”
He said the restoration of the County Road Maintenance Stations will be a key deliverable and this is why he has commissioned a “NO CAR STUCK IN THE MUD” 100-DAY DELIVERABLE to make all major primary corridors pliable.
Boakai noted that this flagship road delivery program will include the Freeport to St. Paul Bridge Road.
He disclosed that having received funding through the Government of Japan, they will begin construction of a 4-lane road from the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to the Freeport of Monrovia.
“Additionally, the Government of Japan is expected to provide funds to expand the Gabriel Tucker Bridge to 4 lanes,” said President Boakai.
He said the Government has also secured additional support from Japan for the conduct of feasibility studies for the expansion of the Freeport to St. Paul Bridge corridor, and his government will allocate funds to complete the 6.5 km Freeport to St. Paul Bridge Road.
At the same time, Boakai assured the Legislature that his Government will ensure that funding from the National Road Fund is utilized to maintain and rehabilitate roads for the good of the public.