Roberts International Airport (RIA) highway in Liberia

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East International and the Liberian government finally commenced constructing the Roberts International Airport Highway.

When East International, led by a young Liberian named Sakona Kelvin Buima, emerged to undertake the road construction work, his company’s experience in constructing such a highway came under severe criticism.

Read also: Project to expand Kiambu Road in Kenya into a dual carriageway

According to Liberian standards, many have questioned his competence to carry out such a huge project and have called it a hoax.

The Upgrading to Dual Carriageway—ELWA-Roberts International Airport Highway project links Unification Town which is in Margibi County with Paynesville City in Montserrado County.

In addition to reducing accidents and improving the people’s movement to and from six of the fifteen counties—Margibi, Grand Bassa, Rivercess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland—the four-lane road, which is anticipated to be completed and dedicated in 2023, is also expected to improve the movement of people, goods, and services.

Due to the safety dangers posed by its confined space and darkness, the RIA road project has been overdue. Since its construction in the 1940s, when World War Two was raging, the RIA Highway has been a death trap. It has taken thousands of unfortunate passengers throughout the course of its 70-year existence, including both foreigners and Liberians.

The project’s $94.5 million total cost is broken down into three main segments. The cost of the civil works, which include the actual construction and design as well as management and a resettlement action plan, is estimated to be US$7.5 million. The road is 45 kilometers long.

Many factors, such as population density, social activities, as well as topography, were taken into account in the design of the road, dividing it into different sections. After the new road is completed, there will be a toll booth at the Junk River Bridge.

In addition to a parking lot, a green area, restrooms, an auto service center, a fuel station, a food court, and convenience stores, the Marshall Junction Road station will also have other facilities.

Reported on January 14, 2015

Liberia injects US$5.6m for more road construction projects

The Ministry of Public Works in Liberia has injected US$5.6m for the Community Infrastructure Development Project (CIDP) that involves the construction of a four-lane road to connect ELWA Junction to Robert International Air Port (RIA) in Margibi County.

The road project, which is scheduled for completion in 2017 will engage pertain to the construction of lane carriageways, the opening of alleys and corridors as well as installation of sidewalks. The construction project has been handed over to be managed by the Japanese Rice Monetization Program, also known as the Counterpart Value Fund (CVF).

William Gyude Moore, the Public Works Minister has said his ministry will aggressively and vigorously implement infrastructure projects.

Minister Moore also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Japan for continually supporting Liberia’s infrastructure development agenda, which is also involved in the Free Port, Somalia Drive to Red Light road project.

According to the Ministry of Public Works, the government of Liberia has also recently signed a US$50m ArcelorMittal-funded landmark project that will see Compagnie Sahilienne D’ Entreprises, a Senegalese construct an asphalt road from Ganta and destinated to Yekepa, passing through Sanniquellie City.

The signing of a US$42m contract between the Liberia government and the Chinese Company, China Railway No. 5 Engineering Group Company Limited Supervising & Monitoring Consultant will also see through the construction of an all-weather asphalt road from Harper City to Karloken Town. This represents the first Phase of the Fish Town-Harper Road Project (FTHRP).

Reported on August 15, 2021

Expansion and reconstruction of RIA Highway in Liberia to be completed in 2023


Expansion and reconstruction of the Roberts International Airport (RIA) highway in Liberia is to be completed in 3 years. Public Works Minister Mobutu Nyenpan confirmed the timeline and added that, when completed, the RIA road will be transformed into an ultra-modern four-lane highway with all requisite lighting and road safety facilities and features.

“This project has a duration of three years, and it’s expected to be completed and dedicated on July 26, 2023,” he affirmed. President George Weah recently broke ground for the commencement of the 45km road project estimated by Public Works officials to cost about US $95m. According to President Weah, the RIA highway is the most convenient route for the movement of people, goods, and services to and from six of Liberia’s 15 counties including Margibi, Grand Bassa, River Cess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, and Maryland.

“Some of these counties are hosts to several multinational corporations such as Firestone and Golden Veroleum,” he said. He further commented that road connectivity is a core pillar of his Administration, and it is the function of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

“My government’s infrastructural development programs have the strong support of international development partners, and I would like to express my appreciation to the partners for the support I assure them of utilizing resources put at the government’s disposal for their intended purposes,” he said.

Funding for the project

According to Mr. Nyenpan, the mobilization of funds for the project was initiated and concluded by President Weah’s government. “The initial funding is being provided through negotiations by the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development and also from private sector capital,” he added.

Reported on September 8, 2022

Delayed works on the RIA Highway project in Liberia blamed on climate change

The minister of public works in Liberia, Ruth Collins, has cited climate change as the cause of the sluggish progress of the RIA Highway, otherwise known as the Robertsfield Highway project. The RIA Highway that leads to the only international airport in the nation is well-known for its dangers to both travelers and bystanders, particularly at night.

President George Weah officially opened the Ria Highway extension and paving on February 20, 2020. The project is being carried out through a China-Liberia joint venture whose contractors are East International Group and China Railways. It is estimated to cost US$95 million.

Due to the Ministry of Public Works’ inability to oversee and carefully monitor the ongoing work on the RIA Highway project, construction projects have been criticized as being of subpar quality.

As a result of the hazardous nature of the route, two people were admitted for treatment at a nearby hospital. This occurred after a car belonging to Deputy Transport Minister J. Darious Kollie plunged into a deep ditch along the perilous road over the weekend.

Remarks on the RIA Highway Project

Minister Collins expressed concern for the predicament that passengers and commuters are currently facing. She justified that prior to the start of the project, the RIA Highway was a hotspot for accidents, claiming the lives of numerous citizens.

She said, “Everyone in Liberia is affected by the RIA highway project. We get together every day to brainstorm ways to advance the highway. Having said that, we regret the predicament we are in given how the project was impacted by climate change. We regret that there were a number of additional, unsurprising incidents. Even in the absence of a project, the RIA highway saw numerous collisions.”

She added, “The only thing left to do now is to complete the bridges, culvert lines, and some backfilling. But due to the fact that we are now in the rainy season, it has prevented us from doing more.”

Minister Collins emphasized that these construction works have been going on at the location since last week.