Road Infrastructure Construction Dynamics: Causes of Delays and Its Effects on Pedestrians’ Safety in GhanaAuthor/Presenter: Acheampong, Serwaa Kuffour
The purpose of the study is to research into road infrastructure construction dynamics with focus on causes of delays and its effects on pedestrians’ safety in Ghana. Using a comparative analysis to examine dynamism in road infrastructure construction delays and its effects on pedestrians’ safety, Lapaz (N1) and Madina (N4) highways in Accra Metro and La-Nkwantanag Madina Municipality respectively were selected for the study because N1 was successfully completed on time while N4 is suffering delay. The study looked at pedestrian safety on the two highways. These roads were constructed within the last 10 years. The objectives of the study were to examine the causes of delays in road infrastructure projects and road construction project cycles on the Lapaz (N1) and Madina (N4) highways that accompany the construction of footbridges, zebra crossings and street and traffic lights, to identify the effects of the road construction delay on government, contractors and pedestrians on the Lapaz (N1) and Madina (N4) highways, and to identify measures adopted by both contractors and government to curbing delay of road infrastructure projects and its effects on pedestrians’ safety on the Lapaz (N1) and Madina (N4) highways. The study employed mixed method approach which consists of qualitative and quantitative methods. In-depth interviews and questionnaire were instruments used for data collection and the sample size was 190 respondents in all. The findings revealed that pedestrians relatively felt safer using the Lapaz (N1) Highway than Madina (N4) Highway. The study confirmed the three main stages in road project construction which are inception stage, construction stage and after construction stage. Delays were found to mostly occur at the construction stage. Also, factors contributing to the delay were found to be financial constraints, politics, and bad weather conditions, land acquisition difficulties, technical and design related causes, utilities and site related causes. The study revealed that, road infrastructure delay affects both government and contractors in terms of time and cost overrun. Other effects were litigation, total abandonment of projects and company breakdown. These effects were found to have telling effects on pedestrians’ safety because of uncompleted footbridges, zebra-crossings and traffic lights. Pedestrians who ply the road were at risk of getting knocked down by vehicles, died through road accident or injured, fractured and others. All these effects lead to economic and psychological stress on families, loss of productivity, traffic congestion and among others. Financial causes of delay are difficult to curb but other causes of delay such as bad weather, design changes, land acquisition difficulties can be managed and controlled. To avoid delay and improve pedestrian safety, it was found out that enough financial resources and other necessary documents should be inplace before construction begins with respect to the weather and the nature of the environment. When road infrastructure delay occurs during highway construction as in Madina (N4) highway, speed ramps should be constructed to reduce drivers speed and allow pedestrian time to cross safely.