The Cape To Cape Coastal Highway: Calling On New Congress to Introduce and Pass a Bill

By Gbe Sneh


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
February 19, 2015

                  



 
 

So much has been written about this top-tier piece of infrastructure, a highway connecting Grand Cape Mount County to Cape Palmas.  It will run thru nine of our fifteen counties – Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland.  Continue, and you drive into Cote D’Ivore!  Any Liberian one talks to about this highway goes, “wow”!  My high school classmate tells me this same passage was once advocated under the name “The TransAtlantic Highway”, to no avail!  This is my umpteenth appeal!

By any contact medium available to you, call on your representative to introduce this sensible legislation, in the INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE.  Congress, please make your contact information available to the constituents.  Let’s all get this done.
If it makes sense to the people, it must make sense to those representing them, who are the ones in position to make that happen through legislation. 

For the sake of argument, let’s list a few of the developmental benefits accruing from this one piece of infrastructure.  For starters, it will put a drag on the congestion that is Monrovia; people will be able to hit the highway and go home, sleep and come back the next day!  They can now be closer to their ancestral homelands where farmland should be free to them, and hopefully they might try their hands, at least, at some form of subsistence farming.  And those with big commercial farming dreams would then have reliable road access to move goods and equipment. This is better than the suffering from sitting down without jobs in Monrovia!   

 

A second big benefit is in the building of the highway, itself – thousands of jobs would be created in the wake of its construction, and its maintenance beyond completion.  A third, naturally occurring benefit would come from businesses servicing workers all along the route – real estate, restaurants, produce markets, beach resorts ( since it is a coastal project).  I just saw a friend post on Facebook, the Sasstown Beach Karter, where Grand Kru health workers were chilling.  How cool is that!  Ok, a fourth benefit can be argued that, as the Liberian Transportation Infrastructure stands today, it is more economical to ship exports to US and Europe, or anywhere, far cheaper from Cote D’Ivore than from anywhere else in Liberia, if you are a farmer working in Southeastern Liberia. This proposed highway would give reason to renovate/expand and make the ports of Greenville, Buchanan and Monrovia become competitive.  For the fifth benefit and on, you might as well supply your own, for this desirable is a no-brainer!

So, here’s my appeal, going forward.  Let us ask The New Congress to INTRODUCE and PASS a BILL, one that, without a doubt, will be supported by the people.  The people might even want a parallel rail system, you never know.

And perhaps this popular phrase would go away – “The much neglected Southeastern Liberia”, for we would then break the shackles of isolation; we could then stay home to develop it, especially if what we are hearing is true that POWER is becoming available on a reliable basis from electrification programs sourcing it from Cote D’Ivore. And guess what?  We can still get our piece of Monrovia, just down the road!
The Southeastern Congressional Caucus needs to introduce this bill.


Flahn Momoh Dualu
Great proposal, necessary infrastructure; but half the legislators you're appealing to can't read on a fifth grade level and don't care! See our dilemma? Furthermore, this adm. has no vision - their super highways are already built in America and Europe. They have already begin their relocation strategies post 2017! But we can put sand in their Gari if we are serious about the country-opening development. Let's not just write, let's act as well.
Flahn Momoh Dualu at 10:04AM, 2015/02/19.
Elliott Wreh-Wilson
Couldn't have said it any better. The task now is to get our representatives and county senators to buy into the reasoning behind your proposal. Please know that is is an old proposal. What you did was to renew the call. And, I applaud your effort, especially the arguments you have provided to support the case. I plan to do my part--bombarding their phones and email accounts with messages urging them to introduce and pass a bill. Our brothers and sisters around the world can do the same.
Elliott Wreh-Wilson at 04:47AM, 2015/02/20.
M Voker Dahn
Sneh:

Thank you for your excellent suggestions regarding a proposed cape to cape coastal high way. Such thoughtful suggestions from our people like you and maybe others might picture the basis of growth in Liberia.

This is exactly the kind of input we need to better serve our country and the needs of our people. It will be such a benefit to all if we can find two or three members congress regardless of party affiliation or ethnicity to introduce such bill. Everyone stand to benefit here.
Thanks again for your message. The ideas and suggestions of innovative, thinking people are always welcome and I hope someone in this administration will have the time to see this.


M Voker Dahn at 07:04AM, 2015/02/20.
Sylvester Moses
Great idea, Gbe Sneh, the problem is funding. If fees received since 2007 just from the oil industry and Maritime were in an escrow account, this dream would be achievable. But President Sirleaf said the nation already owes over seven hundred millions, and yet brags of $4 billion debt forgiveness as if it was a gift to her.

Where as G8 countries initiated the process before she became president, and other poor countries debts were forgiven too; so that instead of using domestic revenue receipts to service huge external debts, the funds could be utilized in the health and education sectors, including infrastructural development to spur job creation. For example, Rwanda, Ghana, and Ethiopia were beneficiaries, but while their leaders were zealously transforming their countries ours stole in frenzy.

The cape to cape concept will be transformative, yet, first, let’s think public safety. President Sirleaf is leaving with her UN militia, UNMIL. The question is: who protects lives and properties, and with what, when she and her entourage leave Liberia broke, in debt again, most likely divided, and with unsecured porous borders?


Sylvester Moses at 09:40AM, 2015/02/20.
Nyekan Eboko
In 2006-2007 the then Chinese Ambassador to Liberia Lin Song Tin (not sure of spelling) at the LIBA dinner pledged the Chinese government commitment to get the road done dual lane (2 going 2 coming) already had feasibility study with cost estimate put at $500 million he likewise laid out the benefits of such a road similar to what you are saying here. Unfortunately EJS would later state that the Americans said they would do it along with Fendal campus (this was during the period of George Bush pending visit to Liberia).

Years laters the Americans haven't done it and the focus of this government’s road agenda appears to be the Gbanga- Mendekoma (Lofa) based on politics of pending 2017 elections as Bong and Lofa have more voters then the entire coast combined (when you remove Montserrado from the equation).

This along with the Nimba to Redlight highway have long been overdue (they are currently developing the road as single lane and not running the fiber optic to the 2nd,3rd and 5th largest counties in terms of population). Our challenge is to get away from incremental development and come up with a road master plan and move forward with it in its entirety. It would cost us less and we could see it done in an expedited manner. Don't see it happening under the current administration as they have committed to a certain path come what may therefore our executive heavy form of government would be more vital in achieving this objective as oppose to the "you eat I eat" current legislators.
Nyekan Eboko at 02:48AM, 2015/02/22.

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