Ahead of the County Tour of President George Weah beginning June 3, 2021, Acting Public Works Minister Ruth Coker-Collins has given green light for the trip to Lofa County.
On Monday, May 31, 2021, she gave the assurance at a special press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICAT) and expressed confidence that the road is prepared for anyone wanting to travel to Lofa County, including citizens, by means of vehicles as low as taxis.
Madam Collins allayed fears of the past that the road was a threat, but with credits to local and international construction companies, she said her team is working day and night to ensure the road is completed for a successful tour by the President.
“We all know how bad the Lofa road was, but with the ongoing renovations works by various construction companies I can safely say that the road is fully prepared for the President and his entourage, and anyone who wants to travel and do their business in Lofa County,” she said.
Madam Collins added that during her recent visit to Lofa County, she observed that the New Millennium construction company, a Liberian owned construction company has done significant work between Zorzor and Konia in Lofa County.
“What we did as Ministry of Public Works was to assign a construction company called Desire Construction Company between Konia to Voinjama that section was the worst section on the entire Lofa road and now I’m proud to report that they are doing well, and we are hopeful by today or tomorrow they will complete the work on that road,” the Acting Minister maintained.
The Gbarnga-Konia highway project is phase one of the multi-million dollar Gbarnga-Mendikorma, which was negotiated by the Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf’s administration in 2017. Construction work began in 2018 under the George Weah’s administration.
The government at the time placed the cost of the 131 kilometers road project at US$184.7m over a duration period of 36 months as of the commencement date. It was again subdivided into two sections, with section one covering the Gbarnga-Salayea (81 km) and Section two, Salayea-Konia (50km). Phase two of entire Gbarnga-Konia-Mendikoma Road Project covers the 143 km Konia-Voinjama-Mendikoma Road.
The contractor is China Henan International Cooperation Group Limited (CHICO) and the monitoring consultant is the Saudi Consulting Services Company (SAUDCONSULT) of Saudi Arabia in conjunction with Tristar Collaborative Engineering and Construction Consultant Liberia.
The donors for the project, as announced by the government include the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).