-Public Works Discloses
Amidst growing speculations and conflicting information regarding completion and dedication of the Vai Town Bridge that was under construction, the Ministry of Public Works (MPW) has finally broken silence on the date for the dedication of the bridge. The new bridge is now named as King Duma Vai Town Bridge. A release issued on Thursday by the MPW says the Government of Liberia will on Friday, December 30, 2011 dedicate and officially open the bridge to the traffic.
The occasion, according to the release, will be graced by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, including other senior government officials, as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps, key stakeholders, partners in progress and the general populace.
Public Works noted that the reconstruction of the bridge has reopened additional access between the business district of Waterside and Vai Town, Bushrod Island which is regarded as industrial area as well as Central Monrovia. He pointed out that the issue of serious traffic congestion experienced over the last three years in the Vai Town vicinity will be reduced considerably thus easing car movement and socio-economic mobility.
“The new bridge has become a reality, owing to the overwhelming commitment of the Government of Liberia and its international partners to rebuild all broken and damaged infrastructures nationwide”.
The project, according the MPW, was financed through the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) that is being jointly managed by the Government of Liberia and the World Bank which amounted to US $16,758,894.00.
The bridge collapsed in 2007 and the MPW, through its Infrastructure Implementation Unit (IIU), awarded the contract to China Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) following an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process in 2008. “The Israeli consultancy firm Phoenix-GASH was also contracted to serve as engineering consultant”.
The Bridge which is expected to be dedicated later this month is 240 meters long and 13 meters wide, with its cross-section providing for two 3.6m traffic lanes, two 0.4m wide concrete crash-barriers for vehicles and 2.5m wide pedestrians sidewalks on each side.
According to the release, the new bridge is comprised of three spans with its outer span being 70m and the centre span being 100m long, indicating that the project has also realized the construction of 100 meters long approach roads at both entrances of the bridge.This gives facelift and beauty to the Vai Town area as never experienced before.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Government under Madam Sirleaf has chosen to officially name the newly constructed bridge in honour of one of the nation’s traditional rulers in person of the late King Zoelo Douma (King Short Peter); who was reportedly born in Gaworlon Town, Cape Montserrado in 1771 and died in 1864.
“All historical accounts dug and searched thus far points to King Zolu Duma being a peace broker and a reconciling figure who strove to bring about peaceful interaction and coexistence between the natives and settlers during his days. He was of the Dei tribe and a well-respected King amongst his people. Of his other name, history tells us that he was a man of shorter height and so to differentiate him from “King Long Peter”, the settlers chose to call him “King Short Peter”.
The program will officially commence at the precise hour of 3:00 PM and the Ministry has saked all invited to be present. “Furthermore, it is anticipated and expected that the Liberian people on whose behalf this and other infrastructure projects are undertaken will be in full attendance including the national transport unions, marketing associations, youth and students groupings, and other well-meaning Liberians”.