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57-year-old Accra-Tema motorway plagued with death trap potholes

Deadly potholes are taking over the 19-kilometre Accra-Tema motorway.

Tema motorway deadly potholes

Potholes have become a plague on the motorway and motorists could spend their journeys choosing between hitting potholes or dangerously swerving around an obstacle course of tarmac craters.

The highway continues to deteriorate and poses a grave danger to motorists.

The Tema-Accra section is the most affected.

It has been reported that 136 people died on the Accra-Tema motorway in 48 months, and with the current state of the road, more people are at risk of losing their lives every day.

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The motorway is no longer a fast and easy route to Accra or Tema. It has been ravaged by serious potholes and cracks that drivers must navigate to and fro work.

Being concrete pavement, it is more expensive to construct than asphalt or other bituminous surface roads. The bitumen on the concrete road has separated from the concrete surface with the iron rods showing deep cracks.

A daily user of the motorway, Kojo Emmanuel 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.

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.

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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.

The poor state of the motorway has been a source of concern for many Ghanaians following the failure of the government to fulfill its promises to make the highway safe.

It often takes motorists about 25 minutes to commute on the Accra-Tema stretch without much traffic and takes 50-60 minutes to commute on the Tema-Accra stretch due to the bad nature and traffic on the road.

Some disappointed drivers who spoke to Pulse Ghana said that traveling on the road now took more time because drivers were forced to slow down to dodge potholes.

Some said the situation was even more dangerous during the rush hours, when drivers overtook one another indiscriminately, notwithstanding the state of the road.

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Also, a major problem that existed on the motorway and still exists is the lack of street lights.

The motorway had no streetlights when it was completed in 1964.

In June 2002, the government was to spend GH¢1.95 million to light up the motorway. The project was to commemorate the country's Golden Jubilee in 2007.

The project had challenges that delayed its completion of the Accra–Tema Motorway. It was suspended due to cable thefts.

The problem led to plain-clothed policemen patrolling the motorway.

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Unfortunately, not all of the mounted streetlights on the motorway are functional.

The Accra-Tema motorway is fast deteriorating, becoming a death trap, with high traffic growth and encroachment of right-of-way, and unless serious efforts are made by the government to save this vital national asset, traffic build-up, and inconveniences to commuters will soon dwarf what exists on other heavily trafficked streets in Accra.

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