Officials at the Ministry of Public Works have signed a multimillion dollar contract with a Chinese company for the full pavement of Phase-I of the Fish Town-Harper Road Project being jointly funded by the Government of Liberia and the African Development Bank.
(L-R) Min. Moore & Mr. Hao Tingkui
The China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group Company Limited is to cement paved the 50 kilometer road from Harper City to Karloken in Maryland County. The contract value is a little over 42.7 Million dollars and the actual construction period is 2 years with 1 year of defects liability.
During the signing ceremony, newly appointed Public 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 quite significant in socio-economic development of the country particularly southeastern Liberia and as such the Ministry will ensure that the contractor does quality work; adding that monitoring and supervision will be prioritized at all stages of the project.
The Public Works boss also noted that his leadership is indeed cognizant of the challenges ahead and will ensure that there is integrity in the contract awarding process at the Ministry while ensuring the quality of the products that come out of that process. He thanked his predecessors Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods for his leadership and influence on this project and Dr. Weeks and the MPW team for working with the ADB and contractor to bring the project to reality.
He equally acknowledged the presence of the Chinese Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission to Liberia and went on to add that as a result of the Ebola, most foreign companies fled the country but our partnership with the Government and people of China has remained very strong and we intend that while we are here providing leadership at the level of the Ministry of Public Works to continue that partnership with the Government and people of China and Chinese companies coming here to do business.
He also thanked Dr. Margaret Kilo for the excellent leadership and the Ministry’s project team for the commitment and hard work put into this project.
“For the people of Liberia the best way to improve our country is these things that we call economic multipliers-power, roads, telecommunications; in effect the infrastructure that makes it easier for business people to do business; for goods to move across the country.
We have been concerned about the southeast; that every rainy season this part of the country gets cut-off. The prices of goods and services go up; aggravating poverty in places that our already economically depressed and so we are very happy about this,” Minister Moore averred.
As for the contractor, Minister had these to say: ‘We know for China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group Company winning a contract from a multilateral financing agency is a prestigious thing for you because after this, it goes on your profile indicating the works you have won before and this is an international competitive bid that you won as there were other companies’…….. ‘We hope we can work with the project team to deliver to the Liberian people value for money and the best quality road that can allow our brothers and sisters from the Ivory Coast to drive to Liberia’.
Speaking on behalf of China Railway No.5 Group Company was Mr. Hao Tingkui; the company’s Country Representative and he said they as a construction company was happy to be in Liberia and deliver to the Liberia 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 can do a good job that will long-lasting and meaningful.
Concluding the Chinese company country representative said his company won the international competitive bidding for phase-I of the Fish Town-Harper Road not just because of its lowest bidder status as compare to other competitors but also the company’s long track record of undertaking large infrastructure and delivering high quality to 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 Kilometers 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 counties’ 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.
Several dignitaries including lawmakers, the ADB Infrastructure Specialist, and county officials graced the occasion and stressed nothing but value for money, quality work as well as local empowerment.