Accra, July 16, GNA - Mr Steve Anoff Amoaning-Yankson, the immediate past President of the Ghana Institution of Engineering, has called on road engineers in the country to uphold the highest ethical and safety standards in designing road infrastructure.
He urged the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, to declare “Zero Tolerance for Potholes” due to the havoc gapping potholes were wrecking on commuters.
Mr Amoaning-Yankson, who presided over the launch of a design manual for low volume roads, in Accra on Tuesday, recommended that before the construction of roads, test must be undertaken to ensure that, the Base Course was competent to promote durability.
Mr Anthony Karbo, the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, launched the 500-page manual designed to provide guidance and specifications for engineers, contractors, consultants and the academia for the construction of low volume roads.
He said the Ministry was committed to ensure that the future of the country’s transport infrastructure remained sound through proper designs, construction and maintenance works.
He recommended the document for the Ministry’s agencies and consultants, saying that, it provided essential information and guidance necessary for sustainable provision of appropriate road networks to meet the country’s growing travel and transport needs.
The manual was designed by the Ministry of Roads and Highways, through the Department of Feeder Roads, with funding from the UK Aid through the Department for International Development (DFID) and the African Community Access Partnership (AfCAP) research programme.
Other institutions that supported the development of the document are Project Management Unit of the Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP) and Civil Design Solutions.
The manual draws on the expertise of local and internationally recognised good practices and acceptable standards to facilitate the development of optimal designs that leverage on locally expressed priorities, materials and indigenous skills and experiences.
The document provides detailed content and step-by-step guidance on geometric design and road safety, pavement design and construction, as well as hydrology, drainage and roadside stabilisation and surfacing, aimed at ensuring value for money, safety and sustainability of such roads.
Mr Karbo said low volume roads comprised roads that are accessed by less than 300 vehicles per day, which leads people to their villages, homes, markets, schools, chief’s palace and other places on daily basis.
Those roads were the wealth of the nation and a tool for social inclusion, economic development and environmental sustainability, he said.
He said it was vital to have a reference material for road construction that commensurate with international standards, specifications and design guides.
The Deputy Minister said the development of road transport sector remains pivotal in the development agenda of Government and would continue to put the needed resources towards the country’s road infrastructural development.
Therefore, it was prudent to ensure the proper resource utilisation through project identification, planning, designing, procurement, construction and maintenance.
“The demand for high quality roads by the public is loud for everyone to hear, therefore there is the need for proper planning and designing, as it is a sine-qua-non to high quality road network,” he said.
Mr Edmund Offei-Annor, the Chief Director of the Ministry, said road network of the country was constantly changing mainly due to changes in settlement patterns, increased agricultural activities and urban sprawl.
Therefore, there is the need to develop road construction approaches that conform to the sustainable development goals and economic needs of the country, he said.
Dr Paulina Agyekum, the ReCAP Technical Director Manager for West Africa, said DFID provided funding for the manual design to aid rural transportation and enhance rural economies for accelerated growth and development.
She said DFID provided funding for the African Community Access Partnership (AfCAP) research programme of which Southern and Eastern African countries benefitted between 2008 and 2014 during the first phase, with a budget of 24 million pounds out of which 16.6 million was allocated to Africa.
She said Ghana benefitted from the second phase of the project, which started in 2014 and supposed to end this year, comprising 12 regional projects like climate change adaptation considerations, research into satellite imagery, development of rural access roads, gender and transport services.
Mr Hamish Golde-Scot, Ghana Team Leader for the Development of the Design Manual, reviewed the document and explained that it would aid capacity-building of local consultants, engineers and serve as a reference material for the academia.