ArcelorMittal-Supported Ganta-Yekepa Road on Course

MONROVIA-The travel difficulties experienced on the Ganta to Yekepa Road by Liberians will soon be a thing of the past as construction and asphalt pavement of the 65km (sixty-five kilometer) road advances with the portion from Ganta to Sanniquellie expected to be completed this year.

Thanks to a contribution of more then USD $ 40,000,000 (forty million United States Dollars) by ArcelorMittal Liberia, the road which is a major economic corridor that links up with Liberia’s borders with Guinean and Côte d’Ivoire will provide great relief for the people of Nimba and Liberia in general and will boost economic activities.

The contribution was a non-ArcelorMittal Mineral Development Agreement (MDA) obligation given by Lakshmi Mittal as a contribution toward the development of Liberia during the previous administration.

With vast portion of the thirty-eight kilometer stretch of road between Ganta and Sanniquellie already paved, road users and residents of nearby towns and villages have hailed the progress on the road.

The first phase began in 2015 with the Senegalese road construction company, Compagnie Sahelienne D’Entreprises (CSE) taking on the contract.

Currently, CSE has paved with asphalt, the stretch from Ganta to the Gausi Village near Gbedin, and it is currently constructing drainages in Sanniquellie and bridges between Gbedin and Sanniquellie.

Project engineers say construction work on the road is quite challenging because of the soil texture, rising hills and many creeks and streams that need to have bridges and culverts.

Most parts of the road, mainly between Gbedin and Kiitonmon, are composed of clay soil that turns loose during the rainy season and dusty in the dry season. In addition to blasting rocky hills and compacting, CSE is at the same time constructing huge bridges.

Construction of a major bridge after the railway bridge near Gausi Village is ongoing.

The Ganta to Yekepa road project is being implemented in partnership with the Government of Liberia and is one of several ongoing projects ArcelorMittal Liberia is contributing to, outside of commitments in its Mineral Development Agreement (MDA).

Many Nimbaians have praised ArcelorMittal for making such a huge contribution as the initiative had nothing to do with the MDA commitment and is hailed as a step in the right direction and indicative of the company’s long-term commitment to Liberia.

Observers also noted that the Ganta Yekepa road was never paved, not even when the former mining company LAMCO operated.

A critical stretch of road connecting the flourishing commercial district of Ganta, the headquarters of Nimba (Sanniquellie), and the mining township of Yekepa, the Ganta-Yekepa highway is being accelerated under the Weah administration.

Meanwhile, as the pavement is expected to reach Yekepa in a year or two from now, ArcelorMittal Liberia is not, however, complacent with maintenance of the stretch from Sanniquellie to the township of Yekepa.

As the dry season approached last year, the company deployed motor graders and other earthmoving equipment on the road to grade and compact trenches that impeded the movement of vehicles.

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