The Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) has expressed concern about deteriorating road conditions, which are exacerbated by insufficient funding, causing routine road maintenance activities to slow down.
Mr Lawrence Lloyd Lankwei Lamptey, Deputy Chief Executive in Charge of Maintenance, GHA, voiced the concern during a training programme for Maintenance Managers and Road Area Managers under the theme: “Project preparation and supervision.
“The Ghana Highways Authority does not have enough money so we cannot do things we used to do in the past,” he said. “The road network is now large, the vehicles are many, very heavy and cause more damage to the roads.”
The workshop is organized annually to equip staff with in-depth knowledge and skills in their fields of expertise.
This year’s event drew maintenance managers and road area managers from the country’s 16 regions of to the Ghana Highways Authority Training Center in Koforidua.
Mr Lamptey, an engineer, emphasized the importance of project preparation and supervision tools in the total life cycle of project management.
“We know that poorly built and poorly maintained roads are expensive and inconvenient to tax payers and road users,” he said in his keynote address, adding that “the quality of road works that we perform is directly related to the service life of the road.”
Implying, “If the roads are not constructed well with quality materials and without any supervision during construction, the life cycle of the road project will not be met.”
He said about 35 percent of road conditions in Ghana was in good condition, while 46 percent was in a fair condition and 19 percent in poor condition.
“This shows that we are lagging behind our schedule of achieving our target while the maintenance activities have also been drastically reduced due to a lack of funding,” he said.
Despite the challenges, Mr. Lamptey emphasized the importance of routine road maintenance, saying, “If the staff do not check the routine maintenance, the road will continue to deteriorate.”
“But we need to find innovative ways and means to prepare road projects and supervise them well so that we can achieve our set goals,” he noted.
He also explained the usefulness of pavement management systems, a performance assessment and decision-making tool that is used to store data, analyze it, and obtain optimum strategies for planning and budgeting for road maintenance networks.
He said the pavement system software was being upgraded to make it more flexible for a holistic approach to maintenance work in terms of project preparation and supervision.
“It will also help in getting our budget right and provide a way of planning and prioritizing the work,” he added.
Participants were guided through line diagrams, the project supervisory team’s duties, pavement design/material selection, and layer thickness.
Other topics covered included bill quantity preparation and cost estimation, geometric design, interpretation, and site application of critical design parameters.
Mr Patrick Okoto, GHA’s Eastern Regional Director, noted that the authority was beset with scarcity of resources, but that in planning their budget, staff needed to devise ways of preparing their projects and finding ways to survive them.
He urged participants to take the training workshop seriously to improve their maintenance capabilities.