Liberia: RIA Highway On Track For 2024 Completion

Project making significant progress, paving to start before rainy season.

By Chriselle Moraes on
6th April 2023

Expansion and reconstruction of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) highway in Liberia is on track, with the RIA to ELWA Junction Road stretch underway. 

The 45-kilometre road project commenced in September 2021, and was scheduled for completion within three years with targeted completion in 2024. It is estimated to cost US$116 million.

The construction contractor for the project is East International.

On completion, the expanded RIA highway will comprise a four-lane road with street and traffic lights along the route and at intersections. It will also have standardized culvert and drainage systems. 

According to an update by Ruth Coker Collins, Liberia’s Public Works Minister, there has been significant progress on construction, and road pavement works is expected to start before the rainy season begins. 

She spoke on the issues encountered during project implementation and how they have been tackled. The workforce for the project has been increased, and international experts have also been brought into the country to build local capacity. A rigorous monitoring process was also in place to ensure worth taxpayers and donor funds get their money's worth.

“For the RIA highway, we expect to do pavement before the rainy season. We have started placing sub-base courses on both sides and expect to start from ELWA up to five kilometres. That’s why we are putting in a lot of time,” said Collins. 

She also disclosed that the asphalt pavement of the stretch from the airport would begin within two weeks and said the three-year project that started in September 2021 would end on schedule in 2024. The project is pre-financed for a five-year period, which includes two years of “defence and maintenance”. 

Other roads undergoing maintenance are:

  • Bushrod Island Road – The corridor between the Freeport of Monrovia and St. Paul Bridge on Bushrod Island is being concreted. Paving is expected by 2024.
  • Ganta -Tappita Road – The government has already started constructing the first portion of the 100 km road, with 20 km paved to Saclepea. The project is 52% complete.

“The next one [road project] is from Tappita to Toe’s Town, about 40 kilometres, and we have completed the procurement process to vet the contractors. We are talking about 140 kilometres already being covered. The next one to reach Zwedru is about 185 kilometres, and we are procuring it as the bank is trying to identify where sources of funding are. And so, it’s part of our engagement with the World Bank. We are very hopeful of getting it started very soon.” said Collins.

Lofa Road – “The progress of the corridor from Gbarnga to Salayea is 75% complete. We are hoping that the contractor will finish the work. They have done up to 49 km of the road and have already started preparing for the asphalt a few days.” said Collins.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has received feasibility studies funding for the Voinjama to Mendicorma 80 km road, and a design consultant is being recruited. The 85 km Kaweaken to Fish Town road project is also on track with the Grand Bassa County Community College Bridge under construction. 

“We are having feasibility studies extending this month to pave from Barclayville to Greenville, and that is financed by the ECOWAS Bank. We have already spoken with the bank, and they agreed for us to sign this,” she added.

Top Photo: Road construction works - Stock Image (Chris Van Lennep | Dreamstime)

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