-Forwards to President Weah for approval
On Thursday, February 7, 2019, which was the 9th day sitting of the lawmakers, the House of Representatives concurred with the Senate to establish a law to re-name certain roads and bridges and dedicate them in commemoration of the lives and memories of some personalities who had played meaningful roles in the country.
Twenty-eight members of the House of Representatives voted in favor of the passage, with none against, but one abstention. The bill is known as “An Act to Name Certain Roads and Bridges in Liberia.”
The Senate’s Engrossed Bill No. 1 (An Act to Name Certain Roads and Bridges in Liberia), was acted upon by the House of Representatives following a report from the Joint Committee on Public Works, Rural Development and the Judiciary.
President George Weah re-submitted the bill to re-name certain roads and bridges in October, 2018, one year after former President Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf first submitted it to the Legislature in September 2017.
Naming of bridges, roads
In the Act, the road from Red Light to Ganta, beginning at the point designated as Red Light in Paynesville, running 254 kilometers to the city of Ganta, Nimba County, will be known as the Madam Suakoko Highway. Madam Suakoko was a Clan Chief in Kiayea, Bong County, who was instrumental in the expansion of the country’s territorial integrity.
The ongoing road construction from Red Light in Paynesville, running 13.2 kilometers to the Freeport of Monrovia, will eventually be referred to as the Japan Freeway. The road is Somalia Drive, though that name is not legislated. The Japan Freeway will be one of the longest roads, with funding from the Japanese government.
The Cotton Tree to the Port of Buchanan road (80.0 kilometers) will be named the Diahn-Blae Gbehozhn Highway. The Diahn-Blae Gbehozhn Highway is the combination of names of rivers in Grand Bassa County.
The newly constructed Caldwell Bridge, which connects Lower and Upper Caldwell, will be known as the Jacob Samuel Melton Bridge, while the newly constructed old Waterside Bridge will be called the King Zolu Doma Bridge.
The newly constructed Mechelen 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, is to be known as the Abba G. Karnga Bridge. The bridge is popularly known as St. John’s Bridge, though that name was not legislated.
Though opinions differ on what his first year’s administration has achieved, President Weah told the Legislature that 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.
Weah 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 education, farming, roads, clinics, and peace at both the districts and counties-level,” he said.