Authorities of the Ministry of Public Works have signed a US$42.7 million contract with a Chinese company for the pavement of phase one of the Fish Town-Harper Road Project, funded by the government of Liberia and the African Development Bank.
Senior officials of the Public Works Ministry disclosed that the China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group Company Limited is to pave the 50 kilometer road from Harper City to Karloken in Maryland County.
The Public Works executives also intimated that the contract value is a little over US$42.7 Million dollars and the actual construction period is two years with one year of defects liability.
During the signing ceremony, newly appointed Public Works Minister William Gyude Moore admonished the contractor to take into consideration the triplet issues of quality, durability and value for money.
He said that the road to be constructed is significant in the socio-economic development of the country, particularly southeastern Liberia, and as such the Ministry would ensure that the contractor does quality work. Monitoring and supervision will be prioritized at all stages of the project, Minister Moore added.
The Public Works boss also noted that his leadership is aware of the challenges ahead and will ensure integrity in the contract awarding process at the Ministry and that quality products result from that process.
He thanked his predecessors, Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods and outgoing Minister Dr. Antoinette Weeks for their leadership and influence on the project MPW team as they worked with the ADB and contractor in ensuring that the project became a reality.
He acknowledged the presence of the Chinese Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission at the signing ceremony.
Minister Moore noted that as a result of the Ebola virus, most foreign companies fled the country but the partnership with the government and people of China has remained strong. He pledged to continue this strong relationship while serving at the Ministry of Public Works.
The partnership with the government and people of China and Chinese companies coming here to do business is a solid manifestation of sustained bilateral cooperation.
Minister Moore also thanked Dr. Margaret Kilo of the AFDB for her excellent leadership and the Ministry’s project team for their commitment and hard work over the years as it relates to the project’s documentation and implementation.
“For the people of Liberia the best way to improve our country is to enhance improvement of these things that we call economic multipliers—power, roads, telecommunication; in effect the infrastructure. These development initiatives make it easier for business people to do business; for goods to move across the country,” Minister Moore asserted.
“We have been concerned about the southeast; that every rainy season this part of the country gets cut-off,” Minister Moore lamented. “The prices of goods and services go up; escalating poverty in places that are already economically depressed. We are, therefore, very happy that this project can now start,” he declared.
Speaking to the contractor, the Minister stressed that MPW staff believed that China Railway Number five (5) Engineering Group Company winning a contract from a multilateral financing agency is a prestigious thing.
Speaking on behalf of China Railway No.5 Group Company, Mr. Hao Tingkui, country Representative said that as a construction company they were happy to be in Liberia and deliver to the Liberian people a high quality road at the end of the project.
Mr. Tingkui said his company will concentrate on every technical detail so that they may do a good job that will be long-lasting and meaningful.
The Chinese company country representative said his company won the international competitive bidding for phase-1 of the Fish Town-Harper Road not just because of its lowest bidder status as compared to other competitors but primarily to the company’s long track record of undertaking large infrastructure and delivering high quality works to the clients.
The Fish Town-Harper road is 130 Kilometers in total and is part of the missing link on the Mano River Regional Connection; a subsidiary of the Trans-West Africa Coastal Highway System.
It connects Conakry-Freetown-Monrovia-Abidjan. Locally, the corridor forms part of the key 510 Kilometer highway between Ganta-Harper linking four southeastern counties.
This project is in line with the Government of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation’s pillar on infrastructure restoration and the implementation of the road sector strategy which entails linking all county capitals with paved roads.
According to the contract, the nature of work to be executed include cement pavement, drainage improvements, putting into place erosion control measures, safety improvements including reflectorized pavement markers to aid nighttime driving, and construction of sidewalks, curb and gutters through towns along the route.