|Back To Archives|
|Parker Paint-Neezoe Road Reaches 80% Completion -As Citizens Cheer Pavement Of Gobachop Rd|
|Published on April 29, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
Only 20% of work is now required to fully complete the pavement of the more than three miles Parker Paint-Neezoe Road in Paynesville, engineers have told the Informer.
The Liberian Government is spending at least US$3 million of taxpayers' monies on the project being implemented by a local construction firm, SSF, and under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Works.
Though the asphalt road – it had never been paved before – now tastes heavy traffic to commercial and private vehicles, plus endless fleets of motorbikes, SSF engineers said the project is not over yet.
SSF is constructing, maintaining, and paving several primary, secondary and feeder roads across the country, besides the Parker Paint-Neezoe and Pipeline Roads in Paynseville.
The company is currently working on the most-talked-about Gobachop Road in the same Paynesville (the commercial heartbeat of Redlight), the GSA Road,( also in Paynesville) and Lot #2 of the Fish Town Harper Road in Southeastern Liberia – a region until recently that was months ago considered cut off from the rest of the country due to inaccessible roads.
“As for the Parker Paint Road 80% of the work is complete,” SSF Project Mr. Geoffrey Kibisi disclosed in an interview Wednesday, when this writer visited the area.
“We have done most of the binder course layers; what is remaining now is the wearing course,” Mr. Kibisi noted and explained: “We have two layers of asphalts: the first layer of asphalt is called the binder layer and then the second layer of asphalt is the rearing course, which is the final layer.
Mr. Kibisi indicated that the public can begin to celebrate because everything is on course and the road will be finished on time.
“Yes, they can celebrate; it will be finished on time [June this year], but before he can call for celebration, community residents, many of whom are lending a helping hand, have since begun singing praises on the company, the Ministry of Public Works and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf “for thinking about us during her administration.”
“This is a major development not only in the life of this community, but throughout the length and breadth of Montserrado County – for the government to pave all the major feeder and community roads,” Rashall Tokapzee Johnson, a resident of the Neezoe Community said.
“For me I will celebrate because no more will we sniff the dust and stick in the mud; no more will drivers charge us exorbitantly to bring us into our communities; no more will a pregnant woman dies because no car comes here to take them to a health center, no more,” Winnie Tarpeh, a resident of the Pipeline Road expressed her enthusiasm.
Mr. Kibisi said though they have overcome most of the major challenges, there remains one: the rain. “Now that the rain is up and about to come, we have to make sure to finish before the rain comes.”
He said though there are some problems with community resident with respect to petty stealing of materials, local government officials and communities leaders have educated those involved to desist.
Eighty percent of the 170 workers are employed from the community he said. “We have employed most of the local people and we are looking at gender balance and we have a considerable number of females working with us.”
The SSF project manager applauded those who have cooperated with the work so far, especially in defining the right of way and stated that “whenever there is development people suffer, but the reward is great.”
Mr. Kibisi said what remains to be done on Paker Paint-Neezoe and Pipeline Roads is the completion of drainages to be followed by the final (3rd) rearing course and markings of the edges of the road.
He said now that the binder course for both the Paker Paint Road and Pipeline Road, a tributary of the Paker Paint-Neezoe Road, is complete, most of the work is now being shifted to the Gobachop (55% completed) and GSA (65% done) roads.
A Wednesday's visit by this writer to the Gobachop Road construction project suggested that the Government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was gathering more support and commendations from jubilant citizens in Paynesville and its surrounding communities.
Last week, structures, including businesses and makeshift homes, in the right of way were bulldozed to give way to development.
Though there were tears with several of the victims still grieving, most of the community residents and marketers in the area are now changing their tones: rejoicing for the development.
SSF workers, using yellow machines and dump trucks are now laying out the road, preparing it for pavement—a progress that is assuaging the grievances of the minority affected people.
“We are happy for the project on this Gobachop Road; it will greatly open this community to business and make transportation issue easy for us,” said Pastor Paul Ivoke, proprietor of the Blessed Mother Enterprise, which trades in used clothing and feet wears.
A resident of the area for the last 15 years, Pastor Ivoke noted that the past condition of the road has posed serious problems for them and strangulated the progress of their businesses, their only source of livelihood.
“It becomes very terrible during the rainy season; we are considered a dirty and ghetto community, but thank God our day of rising has come,” he continued. “Everybody in Gobachop is happy no matter the damages done to our properties; we will adjust ourselves and live with this development.”
He said everybody wants good things, but good things do not come easy. “The coal tar (asphalt pavement) will bring respect to this community, it will impact and boost our businesses,” he stated enthusiastically, adding, “after the rain the sun must shine.”
“We want to tell President Sirleaf thank you for thinking about us, our neglected community…. We will tell our people to vote for her again because we believe she will even do better when we vote for her again”, the Man of God declared.
Madam Garmai Sumo, in front of whose house the road passes, with a drainage being constructed there, said “I feel happy.”
“The water used to give us hell when the rainy season comes. I am happy. I thank God first and the government second. We will now be free from the mud and dirty water that set around here. The mosquitoes will go and malaria will follow, too.”
Madam Sumo's house is too close to the road and may face some deformity to facilitate paving of the road.
Her husband had taken their land deed to the Ministry of Public Works to prove that their house is not in the right of way, but she is willing to give way to development if it proves otherwise.
“Under development, there are cries and rejoicing; some people can be laughing, some can be crying,” she said. “I tell Ma Ellen [President Sirleaf] thank you.”
A Fulani Businessman who only identified himself as AB expressed similar gratitude. “Our business we opened here since 2007 has not been running fine, but the new road will help it grow. We are happy,” he said.
Gobachop is a bustling commercial center in the money-making enclave of Redlight.
Tens of thousands of people trade there in all kinds of goods. The new road will enable them to easily transport their wares faster and at limited cost.
“That's the kind of development we want to contribute to this country,” SSF CEO Shawky Fawaz stated.
“We will cooperate with the Ministry of Public, meet their standards in building nothing but quality roads,” he added. Writes D. K Sengbeh; email@example.com; 231 6586531