Work Minister Unhappy with Progress of Bundung Highway Construction

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By Nelson Manneh

Ebrima Sillah, Gambia’s Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure said he is not happy with the progress of the ongoing construction of the Bundung Highway.

He described the works as “slow”.

Minister Sillah and his team on Sunday visited Bundung, Bertil Harding and other OIC roads under construction within the West Coast Region, Kanifing Municipality and Banjul.

However, there has been no significant progress at the ongoing works on the Bundung Highway, which has been under construction for almost two years now, and the pace at which the work is going on is very slow, when compared to other sites.

The residents have been raising concerns over the slow progress of the ongoing construction. It is observed that many shops along the road have closed down due to the ongoing construction.

The company contracted to construct the Bundung highway is SSTP Construction Company. Momodou Sowe, the SSTP Contractor of the Bundung highway, said the work is delayed due to the slow progress in the relocation of some utility companies’ infrastructures – NAWEC electrical poles and GAMTEL pipes.

“The relocation of the utilities along the road is what is making our work slow, but by the end of March 2024 all the work will be done,” Sowe said.

Sulayman Jammeh, the National Assembly Member for Bundung-Ka Kunda described the ongoing road construction as very slow.

“I am always here with the contractor and workers to make sure that the work is done effectively and efficiently. We still hope for the best,” Jammeh said.

Minister Sillah said the problem is not from the government since they have done what they are supposed to do to make sure that the work is completed within the time frame.

“I want you to engage all the stakeholders and make sure that the issue is resolved,” he said.

Minister Sillah said the government will not allow any further delay.

The Bertil Hardin Highway is the major OIC road that is still under construction, the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, the National Road Authority and other stakeholders visited the road to see the progress.

The Bertil Harding Highway stretches from the airport junction at Yundum to Sting Corner along the Banjul highway. The road has three head-over flyers for easy movement of vehicles.

Honourable Sillah said he expects that the construction of the road from Yundum to traffic light along Kairaba Avenue will be completed by May 2024.

“The contractors are now fixing guardrails along the road to protect animals and even human beings from crossing the road,” the Minister said.

The Minister said at all major junctions there will be openings for vehicles to easily access the main highway.

“The guardrails will serve as natural protectors from people who would want to rush and cross the road,” he said, adding, “Secondary roads along the Bertil Harding road is the third face of the project and it will be implemented.”

The Minister said there will be manual overhead pedestrian bridges for pedestrians to be crossing safely.

“The government is making further discussion to put flyovers at the Sukuta Junction and the Senegambia Junction.”

Sulayman Sumareh Janneh, the Deputy Director General of the National Road Authority, said some of the accidents that occur along the Bertil Hardin Highway are caused by reckless driving.

He said drivers should learn to use the road safely to save lives.