World Bank Country Manager Madam Inguna Dobraja has pledged the Bank’s firm commitment to help Liberia implement the rebuilding of dilapidated transport infrastructure which is one of its development priorities.
“Roads and bridges are important – they connect country and people; they increase access to markets and they are essential in providing health and education services to remote areas,” the World Bank Country Manager said.
She said the financing of the bridge is part of a much larger transport program the World Bank is implementing together with the Liberian Government.
In remarks at the dedication of the newly-constructed Caldwell Bridge at the weekend, Madam Dobraja noted that the new bridge and the approaching access roads will provide primary access to the White Plains Water Treatment facility and the Mt. Coffee Hydroelectricity Generation Plant.
Manager Dobraja highlighted the result of working together which culminated in the dedication of the bridge.
“This is a manifestation of the continuous support of international partners to Liberia and its development priorities,” she stressed.
Also in remarks at the dedicatory ceremony on behalf of the people of Caldwell, Township Commissioner Mrs. Alexine Mendscole-Howard thanked President Sirleaf and partners for constructing the bridge.
“We are grateful to God for what he has enabled you (partners) and the government to do for us,” she stressed.
Commissioner Mendscole recounted that since the Township was founded in 1825, it has always been underdeveloped, with roads in deplorable condition, adding, “but hope came for us when your government promised to pave our roads, install street lights and construct a modern two-lane bridge which has transformed the outlook of our township.”
Also speaking, Public Works Minister William G. Moore put the life span of bridge at 100 years.
He lauded President Sirleaf, the World Bank, CHICO, his predecessors, citizens of Caldwell and partners for the support given to complete the bridge.
The newly constructed Jake Melton Bridge built over the Stockton Creek, is 110 meters long and 13 meters wide.
It was constructed by Chinese construction company China Henan International Cooperation Group (CHICO) with consultancy provided by PHOENIX-G.A.S.H
Engineer from Israel.
The bridge also serves as a by-pass around Monrovia for the traffic connecting the Freeport intersection on Bushrod Island and the ever-busy and congested commercial district of Red Light.
The dedication ends the first phase of the Caldwell road project. The road from Caldwell Junction to Louisiana has been paved with asphalt and street lights installed.
In August 2011, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works secured a grant through the Urban and Rural Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project for the Studies, Conceptual Design and Pre-contract services for a new Caldwell Bridge.