Legislative work in the House of Representatives saw an impressive decision last week when lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to pass into law a financing agreement for the Road Access Management Project that will foster the pavement and expansion of the road leading from ELWA Junction in Paynesville to the Red Light.
The project will cost US$40 million and the agreement also calls for maintenance for a number of years, similar to the Red Light-Ganta Highway which the contractors have agreed to maintain for 10 years.
Even though this 4.5 kilometers road project may pose a heavy financial burden on the country, we see it a laudable venture highly beneficial to the masses.
Besides the facelift it will give the city, this road leads to the ever busy commercial district of Red Light, the nation’s largest marketplace, where hundreds of thousands of people converge daily to transact business. It is from Red Light that much of the locally produced foods come by the truck and pick-up loads from up country to serve people in Monrovia. As a result, people from most other parts of the capital flock there every morning to buy food wholesale.
Since it is a place for business, commercial vehicles are always plying there, and the concentration of a huge number of vehicles on the narrow road causes traffic congestion every day. The current condition of the road and the absence of sidewalks cannot allow easy access of vehicles. This causes drivers to stop in the traffic for commuters to embark and disembark. This impedes the free flow of traffic throughout the day and night.
Public Works Minister, Gyude Moore once told the Daily Observer in an interview that the ELWA-Red Light road will be a four-lane corridor connecting the newly constructed highway from Coca-Cola Factory to Gbarnga. When reconstructed, it will also connect the Somalia Drive Road currently under construction.
When these projects are completed, they will give a modern facelift to Paynesville that serves as a major entry point to Monrovia from the hinterland.
If nothing else can do it, we pray that this road construction will force Paynesville Mayoress Cevette Gibson to clean up the huge piles of rotten garbage that spreads all the way from the Red Light market jam to ELWA Junction. Otherwise, how will the contractors be able to build the road through all this garbage? The garbage would be an obstacle that will make the road construction impossible. Surely the road contractors cannot be expected to become sanitation workers.
The ELWA-Red Light road is strategic not only for economic purposes but also demographic. When constructed, it will connect a major highway leading to some of the populous counties including Bong, Margibi, Lofa, Nimba and those in the southeast.
The pavement and expansion of the ELWA-Red Light road will also considerably enhance business at Red Light. Container trucks, heavy-duty trucks, light vehicles and motorcycles are all mixed up at Red Light where sellers spread goods all on the road, thus preventing vehicles and pedestrians from free movement. This road, when reconstructed will have sidewalks.
The Daily Observer is grateful to the lawmakers for their unanimous votes on the agreement that has the magnitude of benefiting a huge part of the Liberian population.
It is our ardent hope that the Senate will holistically peruse it to concur with the House in order to achieve the best for the Liberian people.