The Government of Liberia thru the Ministry of Public Works dedicates the Stockton Creek Bridge along the Somalia Drive, outskirt of Monrovia, noting that the bridge constructed by the Government of Japan, will last for the next hundred years for the use of the people of Liberia.President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who performs the official dedicatory ceremony, says the bridge is as the result of Liberia’s efforts to build partnership with the Government of Japan, “and we owe it to the leaders with whom we promoted that partnership.”
President Sirleaf explains that developments takes time and requires cooperation, but frowns on community residents, who while the construction was ongoing, threw dirt in the premises, thereby obstructing engineers and slowing down progress. The President stresses that each Liberian has a responsibility to cooperate for development to progress, reminding that such development will benefit them.
“I saw something in one of the papers that says somebody here is challenging part of the road that is now being fixed, but I declare it be fake news, because if anybody threatens this road in this administration, I don’t want to say what will happen but I dare anyone to challenge it.” President Sirleaf further emphasizes that the Somalia Drive is too important for the Liberian people, because it makes a big contribution to their lives, adding that this is evidence of the love that comes from the people of Japan, which they have demonstrated for the people of Liberia.
Earlier, Liberia’s Minister of Public Works, Gyude Moore, discloses that the project is 75 percent complete. “We here today to mark a milestone in the construction of this bridge where there is going to be a whole generation of children who will walk on this bridge and will forget that officials of government once used this bridge”, says the minister.
Minister Moore continues that it was important for the government to embark on such an initiative, saying “One hundred years from now this infrastructure will still be benefiting the people of this country; this is what we have stood for and built.” According to him, the Government of Liberia constructed the bridge in partnership with the people of Japan, commending all those who sacrificed to make it a success, including dedicated employees on the site.
“Madam President, on behalf of all of my colleagues, we want to appreciate you for your tireless efforts, because this is your legacy, and it’s going to last for the next hundred years”, Moore assures. Meanwhile, giving an overview of the project, Deputy Public Works Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Jackson Paye, notes the newly constructed bridge is one of the best quality projects executed in Liberia.
He explains the project was formulated as the result of the government’s poverty reduction strategy, which led the Ministry to formulate a work-plan in 2008-2013, detailing that the project was financed by the Japanese government through a grant arrangement, with direct funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JAICA.
Deputy Minister Paye continues that phase one of the project started on February 3rd 2014, and will be completed on 15th June 2018.
He notes that the bridge will help reduce traffic along the route, including vehicles jam, besides providing a special path for pedestrians to walk, away from the main traffic.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne