Westwood Resumes Work On Gbarnga-Zorzor Road

Westwood Corporation a road construction contracted by the Liberian Government to rehabilitate the  Gbarnga- Zorzor road has resumed work on the road.

According to Mr. Jonathan Swaray, Project Manager of Westwood Corporation, his company was contracted by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Public Works to rehabilitate the Gbarnga to Zorzor road. The contractual agreement according to Mr. Swaray is in the tone of US$8,358,480 and the project has the lifespan of two years.

Speaking to journalists at the project site over the weekend, Mr. Swaray disclosed that the project was halted for nearly six month due to the lack of funding from government to enable Westwood continue the rehabilitation of the road.

He said it was at this point that the United Nations Mission In Liberia (UNMIL), a major user of the road decided to intervene so as to allow enable the mission transport its equipment and other things in Lofa County.

According to Swaray, Government did not complete the payment of the money after 50 percent of the rehabilitation work was done on the road by Westwood something that forced the company to stop it operation on the   Gbarnga-Zorzor road since there was no fund to speed up with the project.

Mr. Swaray added that it was at this time that UNMIL asked his company to intervene in the situation since the road is important to UNMIL as well. He said since Government began providing funding, the company, UNMIL has been stopped from carrying on any work on the road as Westwood is now continuing its work on the road.

He added that prior to the halting of the project; Westwood has completed 50 percent of the project in 2013. He said the project started from March 2013.  He said the company stopped because it was awaiting government to give some money to enable Westwood purchases some equipment and spare parts and payment of its workers. Westwood has resumed work since February.

Also speaking, the Regional Engineer for Public Works in Bong County, Mr. Emmanuel A. Toliver in January , 2012, an assessment was carried out on the Gbarnga-Zorzor’s 150 kilometer road following the signing of the contract in 2012.

Mr. Toliver said work then commenced in March but there was a bit delay due to the deplorable condition of the road. He said the company is willing to do continue if funding is available to speed up the project.

According to Mr. Toliver, in august of 2012, a Captain of UNMIL met him in  Gbarnga in 2013 and asked about the status of the road but he responded that the contract was signed by Westwood and Government. He said it was at this time that UNMIL then mobilized and made intervention. “Last month I came with engineers but saw Westwood men working without informing me. So, I called Swaray and he told me that they have resume work on the road without informing me. He told me that the road is divided into three segments

Among other things, Mr. Toliver said the major challenge on the road is to have materials and equipment to speed up the road project. He further clarified that it is Westwood that is working on the road and not UNMIL. Mr. Swaray said he wrote UNMIL to discontinue the project as Westwood has resumed work.

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