|Dream Come True -Bokay Town-Cotton Tree Road Modernized|
|Published on October 21, 2010||Email To Friend Print Version
By: D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods were the happiest yesterday as hundreds of Margibi and Grand Bassa Citizens celebrated the completion of construction works on the 10-kilometer Cotton Tree-Bokay Town Road.
The part of the road constructed is part of the nearly 70 kilometers of road stretching from Cotton Tree to the sea, which has continued to threaten Buchanan capital city of Grand Bassa County.
A delighted Public Works Minister Woods, who later described the completed segment of the road project to journalists as a “dream come true” briefed the President on the road construction.
The road is being constructed with funds from the Liberian Reconstruction Trust Funds managed by both the Liberian Government and the World Bank.
Several dozens of jubilating citizens and county officials converged in Cotton Tree (a small populated town in Margibi County, where the modern road begins (replacing a previously deplorable literate path) to welcome the President and to commend her for the meaningful infrastructure development.
Hundreds of others including marketers, students, and traditional leaders and mask dancers gathered on the newly constructed Bokay Town Bridge (in Grand Bassa County) to also receive the President.
The happy people, along with some government officials going along with the President on a cabinet retreat in Buchanan City, danced on the bridge and chanted “we want Ellen; we want Ellen, for development….”
“This is one of our major road projects…this is my first time coming on this new road. I have heard so much about it, now I have the time to see it myself,” President Sirleaf told journalists in a brief interview.
“I look at the bridge I’m standing on; it used to be one of those deplorable bridges. Now, we have a modern bridge and a modern road,” the President noted and asserted, “What can I say; I just thank the Minister of Public Works Kofi Woods and the road construction company.”
She said the road will enhance public transport and the economic life of the people, promoting free movements of trade and people. “We need to do more of this around the country. Despite the heavy rains, we will continue to work on this road so that it can bring relief to our people,” a smiling President Sirleaf said donating several bags, footballs, jerseys and copybooks to the women, youth and students who were gathered on the new bridge.
“This used to be a bailey bridge, but now as you can see, we have a concrete bridge in its place,” Minister Woods told journalists earlier.
He said works on the next 10-kilometer of road from Bokay Town to Compound #1 will begin soon, while a bid for the construction of the rest of the road to Buchanan will be put up early next year.
He stated: “The President is going for a cabinet retreat in Buchanan and she has just stopped here to see what has been done thus far based on the ground breaking ceremony that took place here in May (2009) when I became Public Works Minister.”
“I took office in May and this was one of my first major initiatives and I’m happy that it has been able to become successful so far.
The road and bridge, according to the contractor has a warranty of 20 years, Minister Woods said. “It is a dream come true; people used to take hours to come here, now its minutes. So I’m very proud for this progress and it will even be better as we work on the rest of this road.”
Minister Woods said it is his dream to see each of the capitals of the 15 counties of the country linked by such internationally standardized road. “We intend to do that across the country.”
We will dedicate this road when we reach to Buchanan…this is not a dedication, the President is just here to look at the road. We will go to Buchanan and we will be going to Ganta…and in two years, we will be going far to the Guinea Border,” the Minister assured.
Minister Woods reacted to critics who claim the government has done nothing positive during the last four years in power, and that the government’s poverty reduction strategy, which gives priority to infrastructure development, remains meaningless.
Woods: “Seeing is believing. We will not be distracted; we will not be discouraged by those who can not see. Those who have eyes to see will see; those who need help to see, we will take them to the surgeon to help them see. But those who choose to remain blind and can’t be helped to see will be left alone, but seeing is believing.”
The 15-kilometer stretch of road and the bridge were completed in September, Shaun Peartov, head of the France-based construction firm, EGIS BCEON said.
He said the unpredictable weather was the basic challenge. He said he was happy that the project has finished. “It’s good for your country, good for Liberia,” the South African said, beaming with a heroic smile.
Grand Bassa Superintendent Julia Ducan Cassell danced to the tone of traditional drumming and song and told this writer: “I’m happy because it’s a great achievement.” Contact: