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.
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.