US$1.9m road project in limbo
The abandoned Logan Town Road project
The abandoned Logan Town Road project

Investigation conducted by the INSIGHT has unveiled that uncertainty still hangs over the construction of the Logan Town-Mombo Town road, estimated at US$1.9 Million with direct financial support from the Government of Liberia.

In 2012, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works entered into a contract NO. MPW-0084-11/12 with SEK Construction Company for the construction of a 2.5 mile-road from Logan Town to Mombo Town.

The Ministry of Public Works entered into the contract with SEK “for the expansion and certain additional works on the Logan Town to Mombo Town Road.”

But, the project has since been abandoned by the Ivorian road construction company named, Koman Enterprises (SEK Liberia) and the Ministry of Public Works has been tightlipped over the issue, the INSIGHT gathered.

According to the contract, the construction work should have lasted for 10 months only.

After drilling the INSIGHT on several occasions, following the papers’ first publication on the project, the company recently revealed plans for the recommencement of the road scheduled September 2015. However, refused to comment on other legal issues which includes: “Performance Guarantee Bond in the amount of nine hundred ninety thousand five hundred sixty seven united states dollars or fifty percent of the contract price to indemnify the Ministry against losses due to the contractor’s fault,” the contract mandated to have be presented at the time the first installment was paid to SEK and that it shall remain in effect during the life of the contract. 

The company through its Country representative who only identified himself via phone, as Mr. Dahuda shafts blames on the government of Liberia for the delay; coupled with the Ebola crisis which hits the country, last year March.

When asked to comment on the “Performance Guarantee Bond,” and other issues, Mr. Dahuda reserved his comments, noting that only the Company‘s Chairman, Mr. Mamady Komah can speak to the media on issues raised. 

Consequently, appearing last Thursday at the National Legislature, particularly before the House of Representatives, Mr. W. Gyude Moore, Minister of the Ministry of Public Works ‘dodged’ a question addressed to him by Representative Adolf Lawrence of Montserrado County District #15, which hosts the Logan Town Community.

Rep. Lawrence wanted to know the status of the Logan Town – Mombo Town road project but Minister Moore responded by saying, “We get plans ….and we will get back.”

He made the statement after outlining series of challenges the government is currently faced with in the construction drive of new roads and repair.

During his appearance, Moore disclosed that the Government spent US$750 million on the rehabilitation of roads from 2010-2013 throughout the country.

Moore noted that the government was spending “too much money” on road rehabilitation because most of the roads are not paved, and the ones that are paved are below standard.

He then noted that the Government is currently indebted to the Chinese engineering company (CHICO), in the tone of US$5.5 million for the expansion of the Paynesville Police Academy, thus leaving the Chinese to abandon the road.

Before his appearance at the National Legislature, the INSIGHT made several strides to get the Ministry comment on the status of the Logan Town- Mombo Town road project.

Former Public Works Minister, Atty. Koffi Woods, under whose administration the contract was signed, acknowledged that though the contract was signed under this leadership, he cannot speak to the press on issue because he since resigned.

“I don’t know how far the current Minister gone with the work so I can’t speak on the issue,” Minister Woods insisted.

Other steps taken through the offices of Mr. Claude Langley, Deputy Minister of Technical Services at the Ministry of Public Works had occasionally turned down.

Investigation unearthed that though the road is nearing completion, over the last two years no construction work has been done.

Residents of the community complained that while the road is being abandoned; work already done by SEK Liberia, allegedly not durable to meet a modern road project.

Our investigation shows that the road is currently in a deplorable state with several pot holes. Residents complained that the road also lack safety for road user as there is no sidewalk and drench to avoid flood.

The residents are expressing serious dissatisfaction over the current status of the project being superintended by the Ministry of Public Works while the Ministry has been unable to provide clarity surrounding the road abandonment.

Elders, youth and women of the communities noted in an interview with journalists that when the road work started in 2012, two years after the President broke grounds in 2010, they were of the conviction that the road would have been completed soon so that it can necessitate their life betterment and economic development.

Considering the importance of road construction in this modern age, some of the residents expressed that they thought the Logan Town Road would have help enhance linkages of relationship among the communities and businesses.

Mr. George D. Brown, Chairman Mombo East Community/Stockton Creek Community told journalists that due to poor construction work done on the road coupled with lack of sidewalk and drench system, the road users have been victim of series of motorcycles and motor vehicle accidents.

Michael Milller, youth chairman of Mombo East Community/Stockton Creek Community called on the MPW to complete their road project since in fact, SEK has abandoned the work and the MPW is the government institution responsible for all road construction in the country.

Currently, just a stone throw from the Stockton Creek Bridge, going towards the Duala Market, using the unfinished Logan Town – Road Project, there are overused vehicles and construction equipment residents claimed have been parked for over a year.

Martha Logan Davis, a mother of three children who sit very close to the road selling dry goods, noted that the road was abandoned by the company nearly two years ago.

Meanwhile, the Logan Town – Mombo Town road project is a 2.5 mile-road is, if completed is expected to connect the Logan Town with Stockton Creek, Mombo Town, and the Duala Communities, as well as, other municipals located on the Bushrod Island in Montserrado County.  The project aimed at easing the huge traffic congestion around the Duala Market thus giving travelers an alternative route.

Investigation continues…

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