Whereas motorists who ply the East Legon tunnel in Accra are elated because a newly constructed tunnel has drastically reduced vehicular traffic on that stretch, some persons who volunteered to serve as traffic wardens at the old tunnel are worried because they will be jobless.
The traffic wardens who say they have been ensuring smooth traffic at the place since 1996, are complaining that with the new tunnel opened to traffic, their source of livelihood will be cut off because they depended on the little monies they received from benevolent drivers who plied the stretch.
They are therefore appealing to government to employ them in other available areas.
“We are thanking our cheerful ones for helping us. Thanks to Ghana Police Service for allowing us to work with them.
We are now informing you that any moment from now, we will not stand under the tunnel to direct the traffic again.
We plead with the citizens and government to come to our aid,” the wardens stated on a signpost to thank those who supported them financially over the years.
Road users earlier complained bitterly about the massive gridlock at the old tunnel during rush hour and the delay in completion of the new tunnel.
The new tunnel was however opened to traffic on Monday [April 23, 2018] and to replace the old one, which caused heavy vehicular traffic because it could only carry one stream of oncoming vehicles at a time.
According to the Ghana Highway Authority, the decision to open the tunnel for use by motorists was taken in order to allow the company executing the project, Sonitra Construction, to complete work on other parts of the road.
“This is just temporary and it is a diversion to enable work on the left turn at the East Legon junction to go on. It has not been officially opened,” the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Ghana Highway Authority, Diana Seade said in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday.
Despite stating that the opening of the tunnel was temporary, she hinted that the tunnel might remain in use to aid the flow of traffic until it is officially commissioned.
The traffic wardens in a Citi News interview said one of their members passed away last week because of the dust and other harmful fumes he inhaled while directing traffic at the old tunnel.