Boulevard de la République Project: Deadline Past, Much Work Still Undone
The project, which began in 2014, ought to have been completed by June 2016.
One of the facelift projects the population of Douala is anxiously looking forward to is the extension work on the Boulevard de la République in Akwa Nord. This is especially as the project is overdue. Another reason is that there is a steady rise in traffic congestion in the city with the construction of the second bridge over River Wouri; added to other road rehabilitation projects going on in the city.
Instead, the road expansion project has suffered delays due primarily to persistent downpours. Other deadlines such as the start and completion of the second phase of the project have also not been respected. Delays in the past had to do with disbursement of funds by the Douala City Council, DCC and the reluctance of residents to quit the area.
Work on the two-kilometre stretch began way back in 2014 and was due to last 12 months. The first phase witnessed the demolition of several homes to open up a road from Bonabassem to the northern zone of Akwa Nord. The DCC-funded project later entered the second phase with construction proper as bulldozers set to work and workers began paving and laying concrete slabs against the walls of gutters.
However, workers of the Military Engineering Corps executing the project have refused to explain why the second phase that was due to have been complete by June 2016 is still going on with double lanes not yet in place. For now, only gutters are being built, with gravel and stones still being ferried to the site. While commuters get anxious over the burgeoning traffic in Douala, those whose homes were demolished are beginning to question the rationale of the never-ending project. Some, however, appreciate the project, praying for its quick execution in order to savour the dividends of smooth traffic flow.