Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh
Ghana’s quest to reduce traffic congestion in the capital city has been given a major boost, with the implementation of the Accra Monorail project. The project, which is being undertaken by the Intercontinental Commerce Corporation (ICC), a USA firm, is estimated to cost $1.5billion.
The project will be financed 100% from loans and equity contribution by Intercontinental Development Corporation (IDC). Though, work is ongoing, the proposed Monorail project will take 12 months to be completed, and will provide over 15,000 jobs for the teeming Ghanaian youth during the construction period. The project, when completed is expected to offer over 1,000 full time jobs to Ghanaians.
Currently, the public transit in the city of Accra is provided by a mix of privately owned mini-buses known as ‘tro-tro’, taxis and buses, which add to the congested streets and contribute to air pollution. The new transit system (Monorail) will operate on elevated beams in order not to disturb the pedestrians and traffic on the ground.
The well known ‘tro-tros’, buses and other commercial vehicles will be rerouted to feed the transit line after implementation, in order to link more passengers to the Monorail system. The Monorail will carry more than 700,000 passengers per day, with cruising speeds up to 80 kilometre per hour and run 24 hours in a day.
Dr. Ron Watson, a Transportation Engineer and Specialist told some journalists in Accra, over the weekend that the elevated monorail system would be eight miles in length with 16 stations during the first phase of the project and would help alleviate traffic congestion, reduce pollution and increase mobility in the Accra metropolis.
Additionally, the system will allow commuters to bypass stand still traffic by gliding over the congested streets safely, while eliminating hours of commuting between downtown and the residential areas. The Monorail project also includes hotel, business and conference centre, multi-storey shopping complex, beach resort with villas and golf course and other real estate developments.
This real estate development will provide substantial cash for the Accra Monorail project, ensuring project viability and no Ghanaian Government budgeted funding. Furthermore, the project will contribute to the modernization and economic development of the Accra metropolis, improve quality of life and boost tourism.
When quizzed why ICC’s elevated transit system for Accra, Dr. Watson stated that “ICC’s initial findings in Accra indicate that Ghanaians want more mobility, not less mobility. Elevated rapid transit will provide this mobility above and beyond that being provided by automobile and not at the expense of the automobile”.
Dr. Watson disclosed that the monorails may be automated and not requiring drivers and would be controlled by an electronic control system. The President of ICC, E.J. Miller said the company operates the same project in Cairo, Egypt, and Jida and Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Source: The Chronicle Ghana. Image: daijiworld.com