57-year-old Accra-Tema motorway now a death trap

The 19-kilometre concrete Accra-Tema Motorway continues to deteriorate and pose a grave danger to motorists.

Accra-Tema motorway

Being concrete pavement, it is more expensive to construct than asphalt or other bituminous surface roads, but it is more economical to operate over the long term. It is longer lasting, stronger, and requires minimal maintenance.

Ghana's first President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah opened first stretch of Accra-Tema Motorway.

On November 30 1965, he opened the first stretch of the Accra-Tema Motorway.

A visit by to the motorway shows the deteriorating state of the 56-year-old motorway, potholes, bitumen patches, erosion and hardened lumps from spilled concrete are still posing a danger and discomfort to drivers and passengers who passes on it on a daily basis.


The Pulse team also discovered that most of the bridges on the motorway are in bad shape thereby exposing motorists and pedestrians to danger especially the Adjei Kojo under-bridge and the Kanewu junction on the motorway which has turned into a 'trotro' road for commercial vehicles forgetting that it's a highway.

The 19-kilometre highway is currently in a deplorable state as it is covered with deep potholes and road markings have been wiped off by the thousands of vehicles that ply the road.

Lack of repair works on one of the major roads motorists always use is the Accra-Tema motorway.


The state of the motorway can be described as criminal negligence of the highest order on the part of those responsible for its maintenance.

Also, the creation of illegal access routes to join the Accra-Tema motorway by suspected drivers along the stretch recently has increased the surge in vehicular traffic.

More than 25 illegal routes connecting the road on the 19km motorway have been created.

The starting point of these illegal routes begins at the Adjei Kojo Underbridge, Abbatoir, Community 18 extension, through to KICC, Coca-Cola, Trassaco, Manet, and tollbooth area among others which also happens to be a breeding ground for illegal diversion by motorists.


Most of these illegal diversions have resulted in severe carnages on the highway, especially at the Adjei Kojo Underbridge exit route which has now become a deathtrap.

It is no surprise that many drivers have gained notoriety for various unpardonable offenses on the motorway.

Present and past governments have neglected the maintenance of the motorway.

In June this year, the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, revealed that the 19-kilometre highway that links Tema to Accra will be expanded into a 10-lane highway to ease traffic.


He said the expansion of the motorway demonstrates the government's commitment to investing in the country's road networks.

Amoako-Attah addressing Parliament on Friday, June 17, 2022, said "The future programme is to expand the existing motorway to a 10-lane.

"It will comprise of free-way, access control, three urban highways, and a number of footbridges for pedestrian crossing."

It is almost six months since Amoako-Attah promised and assured the nation of the expansion but Ghanaians will ask when will the expansion commences on the deplorable 56-year-old Accra-Tema motorway into a 10-lane.


In 2009, former Roads and Highways Minister under the late President John Evans Atta Mills promised to expand the motorway into a six-lane highway.

The government has promised since 2012, under the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), when the former Minister for Roads and Highways, Joe Gidisu revealed that the Tema motorway will see massive expansion under the John Mahama administration to ease traffic but nothing happened.


Gidisu said: "There will be a three-lane carriageway from the Tema roundabout up to the Shai hills."

That promise by Joe Gidisu under the NDC government failed.

In 2015, the former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper also promised Ghanaians that plans are ongoing to construct roads from the Tema Port to the motorway.

Under the current government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), appointees of the President seem to promise Ghanaians who ply the road of new hope.


The expansion of the motorway to six lanes is a 30-month-long project that Kwasi Amoako-Attah promised but nothing has been heard from or seen.

In 2018, the former Deputy Minister for Roads and Transport, Anthony Karbo, also hinted that the government will expand the road to six lanes.

Karbo also hinted that government will review the current tolls being collected on the Tema motorway.

Speaking to Accra-based Class FM, he said: "The idea is to expand the Accra-Tema motorway into a six-lane highway."


Later, Karbo attributed the government’s inability to fix the Tema motorway to a lack of funds.

On Friday, January 25, 2019, Amoako-Atta again gave an assurance that the four-lane Tema motorway will be expanded.

Also, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has said work on the Accra-Tema Motorway Expansion project is expected to start early 2023.

This follows the decision of the government to procure the 27.7 kilometres project through the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) under a public, private partnership (PPP) arrangement.


Presenting the 2023 budget and economic policy of the government to Parliament on November 24, 2022, Ofori-Atta said a PPP concession agreement backed by an appropriate toll arrangement would be presented to Parliament for approval to facilitate its execution.

Kojo Emmanuel and Ghanaians who ply the road want to know when will the government start work on the 58-year-old Accra-Tema motorway which is now a death trap to commuters.


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