China Chongqing International Construction Company, (CICO) has renewed its commitment and support to Liberia’s recovery drive and is thereby seeking the full cooperation from all project communities and motorists plying the Red Light-Gbarnga highway to strictly observe all road safety regulations as the project enters another phase.
CICO is internationally acclaimed for its specialized engineering performance in road network-building and construction in the world, including Liberia.
CICO said while maintenance activities including filling potholes, lateral drainage, re-grading, etc. are ongoing, engineers and road technicians were finding it somewhat difficult in having motorists fully comply with road safety regulations and instructions given by flagmen along the highway.
China's direct investment in Liberia reached US$10 billion by 2010 according to a World Bank recent index report. The Chinese Government is not slowing down; and these investments, which are accompanied by tangible development aid packages of significant value, have given China a special place in the heart of many Liberians.
Shengwei Li, CICO Project Administrator, lamented that vehicles moving at high speed are currently running into safety drums painted white and black, which are used along the highway to serve as a barricade at culvert construction sites for traffic control during road works.
While moves are being exerted to bring this situation under control, safety agents are being assigned at various sites in the Weala section with 10 to 15-minute briefings which will help educate workers in each department on a daily basis, while safety officers and agents monitor the site for unsafe practices and at the same time provide corrective measures as required, our reporter who visited several of the project sites observed.
Also during our visit, flagman were seen using the required red and green flags for traffic control along with damaged ones regularly replaced while the replacement of damage personal protective equipment at Weala and Gbartala continued up till present.
Weala and Gbatala are two CICO bases along the Kakata-Gbarnga Highway.
At the moment, engineers and technicians continue the installation of culvert and construction of apron, wings and head walls in both section one and two, while scarifying (sic) existing asphalt pavement (3.5 kilometers), and the reconditioning of by-passes are being carried out to ensure that the output and performance–based road contract are successfully implemented.
Accordingly, during the month of November 2013, the company achieved tremendous progress particularly in establishing a new camp at Kilometer 18 to host new crew members, equipment, and materials while crushing activities at the quarry sites at Weala and Gbatala are ongoing.
With the design, rehabilitation and maintenance of the Red Light- Gbarnga Highway and that of the Konola Bridge by CICO, trade and commerce is expected to boom within a matter of time when the road is finished and dedicated, thus allowing a free flow of traffic in that part of the country, which is a major route leading to other parts of Liberia.
In an attempt to respect human dignity and labor as well as the principle of fair play, the company’s management last October signed a collective bargaining agreement with the workers union and seeks to address a number of sticky issues.
From all indications, the highway project, considers health, safety and environmental management plan as a working tool for the implementation of the project and is being made possible by the company’s health and safety team comprising local and international staffers.