Ellen Seeks Legislature Approval to Re-name Roads, Bridges

President Sirleaf wants the road from Paynesville-Red Light to Ganta to be known as the Madam Suakoko Highway. (Photo: Nick N. Seebeh)

With barely four months to the end of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s 12-year tenure as Liberia’s 23rd President, she has decided to re-name certain roads and bridges, and also dedicate them in commemoration of the lives and memories of certain personalities who played meaningful roles in the country’s history.

Though opinions differed on what her most lasting legacy might be, the President and some Liberians believe that one of her legacies would be infrastructure (roads, bridges, and buildings) erected during her administration.

Besides infrastructure, it is evident that the single undeniable aspect of Mrs. Sirleaf’s legacy is that she has demonstrated that a woman can become president of Liberia.

 And so as a way to make a distinction, President Sirleaf yesterday submitted for enactment into law by the Legislature the bill titled: “An Act to name certain roads and bridges within the Republic of Liberia.”

In her communication, she said when the bill is passed into law, it will kindle the spirit of appreciation and gratitude for keeping people and specifically named events, through highways and freeways, alive.

She added that the law, if enacted, will focus on naming newly renovated and constructed roads and bridges after distinguished individuals who served strategic administrative positions.

“These statesmen worked meaningfully and contributed to upholding the counties’ dignity, history, culture and stable community,” the President said.

“During their tenure as Paramount Chiefs, they initiated concepts that led to projects yielding significant progress in the educational, farming, roads, clinics, peace and buildings at both the districts and the counties level.”

Naming of Roads

According to the Act, the President has submitted the names for certain specific roads to be ratified by the Legislature, such as the road from Red Light to Ganta, beginning at the point designated as Red Light in Paynesville, thence running 254 kilometers to the city of Ganta, Nimba County to be known as the Madam Suakoko Highway.

Upon passage of the Act, the newly constructed Caldwell Bridge that connects Lower and Upper Caldwell will be known as the Jacob Samuel Melton Bridge. (Photo: Nick N. Seebeh)

Also, when completed, the ongoing road under construction from Red Light to Freeport, beginning at the point designated as Red Light in Paynesville, thence running 13.2 kilometers to Freeport will eventually be referred to as the Japan Freeway. The road is Somalia Drive, though that name is not legislated.


Immediately upon the passage of this Act, bridge(s) such as the newly constructed Caldwell Bridge that connects Lower and Upper Caldwell will be known as the Jacob Samuel Melton, while the newly constructed Old Waterside Bridge will be called the King Zolu Doma Bridge. The newly constructed Mechlen Bridge in Grand Bassa County will now be officially named the Tarr Gardour Bridge; the bridge that connects Margibi and Bong counties will also be called the Kolleh Gweh Bridge; the newly constructed bridge known as the St. John River Bridge in Grand Bassa County, running to Buchanan the capital, is to be referred as the Abba G. Karnga Bridge.

Meanwhile, during last Tuesday’s session, members of the House of Representatives voted to forward the President’s bill  to the Committees on Public Works and Judiciary to report within two weeks.


  1. I really want to know!
    Who the hell call King Zolu Duma in Liberia ?
    Liberian only know about paramount chief, town chief, and so on…why can’t we name our road or street after our native people interested people that we never seen before!… And the Liberian are sitting right there this woman playing fool out our country. ..
    The next thing she will start telling us is: every boy child should carry Robert serlef last name or, every girl child should carry Ellen head style and the dummy who call themselves law maker they willing to approve it..

  2. My fellow Liberians; I wish to know King Long Peter’s real(native/indegenous) name. My real Liberian “HERO”, is the king refered to in Liberia’s History as Long Peter; a typical slave’s name. Long Peter is the King who stood up to U.S NAVY LT. ROBERT STOCKTON and refused to give land to the “White Man”. It was only when Stockton threatened to shoot Long Peter, in the head, that Cape Messerado was seized by the U.S NAVY; under orders from U.S PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE. Long Peter surely deserves our “HIGHEST HONORS” I say, King Boatswain, aka Sao Bosoe out; Long Peter IN. It is absolutely a disrespect to Indegenous Liberians, to have anything in Liberia, named in honor of BOATSWAIN; who threatened to cut off the heads of Native/Indigenous People, unless they give up their land to the “White Man”.

  3. Certainly , changing the name Somalia Drive the best idea . That country , that country , that country name is an embarrassment to have any streets or roads named in its honor in Liberia , due to its association to international terrorism . Somalia Drive ? Get that name out of that country .

    • Even so while that country is changing Somalia Drive name something that being suggested for a long time , that country also need to exercise prudence in replacing Somalia Drive with Japan Freeway . Not because Japan made it possible to have that freeway . A footnote on that freeway will do as to remind the people or visitors who made it possible . Can’t always go naming projects after their contributors like that . That country has to find other means to show its applications . But thank God , they are getting rid of that Somalia Drive name, a long dream finally coming true .


    • Why are you making reference to her being mulatto, no one is responsible for their birth status . your calling her a mulatto is just as ignorant as the racist Europeans who called Africans niggers or jungle bunnies. If you dislike her do it for her politics not her birth status. Lastly, you should at least show her the respect of being not only your president but a woman. I’m sure you have a mother and no choice in who she were.

  5. Even a cursory look at African history will inform us that we did(and still do) indeed have Kings and Queens. More importantly it would behoove every well meaning African to read and research your history so as to have a better understanding of our PROUD PAST. I am quite elated that the name Kolleh Gwee,(not Gweh) my family’s neighbor in Salala, Bong County will be on something significant, should the bill meet legislative approbation.

  6. I am not against naming those roads and streets, but please add unique numeric value as well. This will make it constant when changing those names again in the future.
    For example, make sure the Sua Koko high way is also called HW 1, 5 or 10 depending on geological locations (East West or North South).
    A standard could be yny high way that runs from East to West, could be in even number while those that run North West, can be odd numbers. I am talking about some standards to follow….

    • John, your suggestions are right on points. I would even add that only streets in designated cities across the Nation should be given names after past leaders, past events and anything of significance to the Nation. The Government of Liberia through the Ministries of Information, Education, and Public Works must provide adequate education and information regarding the significance of any proposed name change Highways to all political subdivisions should carry numbers and letters designating north, south, east, and west as a means to provide directions to those areas. I cannot see any justification for naming Somalia Drive as Japan Freeway simply because that nation provided funding for the rehabilitation. Additionally, the bridge reconstructed by the Chinese should be expanded to six lanes to ease traffic congestion and the Chinese dragon should be removed asap. It does not represent anything about Liberia. The Liberian Legislature must set up a committee comprised of citizens to engage Liberians across the Nation for any name change proposal. These proposed changes will have a tremendous impact on the Liberian people and as such, this should be a national decision incorporating views of the population.

  7. I wonder any of these roads and bridges could be named after some of our most dedicated and humbled elders, who, served Liberia, with their hearts and souls. Few of them, no matter how much national resources they had under their controlled it was better they die poor but with dignity. Example; The BAI T. MOORE- FREEWA. BISHOP AUGUSTUS MARWEAH- BRIDGE. They are both deceased, but needs to be remembered.

  8. Better late than never! This is a good first step to show respect to our ancestors and those who made tremendous contributions to our nation-state. The country shouldn’t have just one name, “Tubman” dominating our landscape; we should make an earnest effort to honor other distinguished Liberians. A future administration should continue this trend, and consider naming and renaming some of our schools, hospitals, clinics, streets, and roads. I always wonder who is “Broad Street” or “Front Street” named after in our history? I know of “Ashmun and Carey streets”, all named after early settlers: Jehudi Ashmun & Lott Carey. But how we name places should always have some kind of historical meaning!

  9. Not in your native bridges and pallet roads. I will not be used as a bridge to anyone success. All I know is that the best swimmer is the one who almost got drown and called someone to help. The Atlantic Ocean is the same one that passes through Cape Mesurado. It is time to vote and abstain and not time to make palaver over land, river, bridge, or place to sleep and what type of soup to swallow fufu or gagba, eat dry rice, cassava, or deeper with. Vote your conscience or abstain from voting. The fiasco legislature got their own problem after the Presidential transition. Some will stay and some will go out with her. The Judicial got many complains to interpret from chicken necks. After election before the silent majority will have enough time to listen. Do not be afraid big majority is watching. Vote your own conscience. No tyrant or reboe can stop you because they can see the power of the cutlass. Speak you Liberian to all.
    Gone home in silence.

  10. She spent 12 years did nothing what the hill wrong with her. She needs to find her way out and give chance to other people who want to make Liberia a better place for us. And for those dummies Law makers need to think twice before making any decision.

  11. No money for infrastructure. No money to pay for the necessities of life, country medicine, health care, like water, light, good roads, more pathways, food, good school, good house, and many other things than this already gone incumbent talking about paying to change name? You got plenty to change for your self and not for God’s all. You not changing any emblem in this nation again to bring some kind of divorced many husbands and many wives rebel war. We need now a leader from a government that believes in Holy principles. A natural one man leader for only one natural woman leadership the Liberian people need.
    Gone home to silent majority. Do not reply me. Tell the Liberian people.


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