The ISU Engineering and Construction Company, a South Korean company, has officially handed over the newly reconstructed and upgraded Kenema-Pendembu road to the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA).
The reconstruction and upgrading of the road, which started in January 2010 and completed in December 2015, cost ninety million United States dollars (US$90m).
Public Relations Officer of SLRA, Sorie Ibrahim Kanu, said that the length of the road is about 84.5km, while the width is about 10.3m, making it one of the widest roads in the country.
He added that the road was due to have been completed and handed over to SLRA in 2014, but noted that some challenges along the way prevented that from happening.
“Some of these problems included a delay on the part of the contractor to mobilise machines; the Ebola outbreak and changes in the design of the road, among others,” he said.
He disclosed that the newly reconstructed and upgraded road has eight new bridges, traffic signs, road marking, zebra crossing, cat eyes (reflectors), speed bumps, yellow lines, which is technically called “shoulders of the road”.
Kanu added that due to several changes in the design of the road, the cost of construction increased from fifty-six million United States dollars (US$56m) to US$90m.
“There were several donors that contributed to the reconstruction and upgrading project. OPEC Fund for International Development contributed 22.19% of the funds, the Islamic Development Bank contributed 20.41%, BADEA-the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa gave 17.80%, Saudi Fund for Development gave 15.5%, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development gave 15% and the Government of Sierra Leone contributed 9.10%,” he disclosed.
He further revealed that the consultants for the projects were Adel Obaid, Edward Davies and Studi International.
The SLRA PRO said the handing over of the road by the ISU Engineering and Construction Company was provisional, noting that it gave the Authority permission to inspect the road for a period of 12 months, referred to technically as “defect liability period”.
“In the process of this inspection if SLRA detects any problem on the road, the ISU Engineering and Construction Company will have to take responsibility,” he said.