Petroleum House, 21 February 2021 – The National Roads Authority (NRA) is claiming 40 meters on either side of the Bertil Harding Highway to widen it into a dual carriage in preparation for the OIC Heads of State and Government Summit in 2022.
The revelation was made by Kebba Trawally, NRA Project Manager for the OIC Roads during a media field visit to the property assessment and valuation exercise underway on OIC beneficiary roads. The road authority is the implementing agency responsible for the expansion of the Bertil Harding and other roads identified in the Greater Banjul Area.
‘’For us to implement this carriageway, we need the right of way. We need space. Thus, we are just claiming the right of way allocated to us. That is 40m meters on both sides’’, said Mr. Trawally, stating that the 40-meter includes the median, shoulder, carriageway, drainage, and services sections.
‘’The oic project has come in to increase the capacity of the Bertil Harding into a dual carriageway. Each carriageway will have two lanes in one direction. This will help a lot to accommodate the existing traffic’’.
Concerning the 50KM feeder roads, Mr. Trawally added that any road less than 14 meters is also considered to be an encroached space.
Commenting on the modus operandi of the ongoing property assessment and valuation, Tijan Darboe, Supervisor of the Physical Planning team spearheading the fieldwork said the activity complies with due diligence and the proper expropriation procedure.
‘’40 meters from the center of the road [Bertil Harding], any building or property [that is]affected we write it down. The owner is served a letter to answer to the office with relevant documents’’.
The road project is advancing well according to plan, according to Yaya Sanyang from the OICGambia Project Office. The next step for both Bertil Harding and the 50km urban roads is to hire contractors for construction to begin.
Head of Brand and Communication, Nfally Fadera reiterated that the Secretariat remains on track to complete all the projects ahead of the Summit including the roads.