By Amin Kef (Ranger)
Pavi Fort Road Construction Company has etched its name in the sand of times as the leading indigenous road construction company in Sierra Leone that many have been copiously commending for always delivering qualitative road construction works.
As an Engineering Firm that deals with Civil Engineering in terms of the construction of roads and bridges, the company has made tremendous progress in its latest activities which are mainly centred around firstly, implementing the World Bank funded Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP) that is targeting three road corridors in Freetown, specifically in the areas of Kissy Ferry Junction, Congo Cross Roundabout and Lumley Roundabout which are referred to as road corridors.
The second major activity in which the company is currently engrossed in has to do with road maintenance of some major streets in Freetown, the whole township of Kenema and refurbishing a hospital in Port Loko that was handed over to the Government by UAE among others.
Through the astute leadership of the result oriented and charismatic Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pavi Fort, Alimu Barrie, one of President Julius Maada Bio’s manifesto promises which has to do with the delivering of improved road networks right around the country has been commendably translated into reality by Pavi Fort to the astonishment and admiration of funding agencies as well as the vast majority of people that are benefitting from those improved and qualitative works done by the reputable company.
Indeed, the current SLPP Government, under the stewardship of President Bio has done much to deepen development. One successful accomplishment that the current SLPP Government scored, under the leadership of President Bio, was securing funding from the World Bank for the implementation of the Integrated Resilient Urban Mobility Project (IRUMP).
The main objectives of the project are geared towards improving the quality of public transportation, addressing climate resilience, improving road safety in selected areas and enhancing institutional capacity in the transport sector.
As a reputable construction company, Pavi Fort won the contract for the implementation of the project in three areas or corridors namely : Kissy Ferry Junction, Congo Cross and Lumley. The works involved comprehensive corridor improvements that will cover complete traffic management measures including intersection improvements, coordinated traffic lights, improvement of sidewalks for pedestrian movement, drainage, etc.
Pavi Fort commenced work at Ferry Junction on the 15th May, 2022 and within a short period of intense work the company completed re-graveling works, covering a 400-metre stretch from J Matter, around the Dockyard axis to reach as far as the Bomeh axis, in the East End of Freetown.
Next that followed was asphalt on the surface of the road, said to have been constructed forty years back, to bring it up to 10 cm from the previous 5cm and that involved three layers.
The company expanded the road from two lanes, on both sides, to three lanes, fixed a new drainage system to replace the old small clogged ones which will curtail or drastically reduce flooding on the road during the rains, and made provision for a traffic light to be fixed at the Ferry Junction intersection to control the traffic flow, fixed street lights, guard rails as well as convenient bus stops or parking spaces.
The only things that should now be done are to fix the traffic light and walkways meaning that 80% of the work has been completed to the delight of the funding agency, the World Bank and road users.
It must be noted that because of the rainy season the work slowed down, eliciting criticisms that the company was doing a bad work when in actual fact it was the heavy downpours that put the work on hold. However, to the joy of many the road has improved traffic flow and is now more convenient to motorists and pedestrians.
Construction and engineering works at Cong Cross and Lumley under the same project, IRUMP, have reached 90% near completion stages and it is the expectation that by March this year 2023 they would have been completed.
Pavi Fort is also engaged with road maintenance in Freetown, Kenema , Lungi and Kabala (Kroobola). In these areas the company is involved in stone basing and tarring of damaged roads with the aim of minimizing the number of pot holes on the road which also by extension minimizes risks and accidents from taking place.
In Port Loko the company is engrossed with landscaping, roofing and fixing of pillars on a facility which was once used by NaCOVERC during the COVID-19 and is now being transformed into a hospital.It is also constructing a 2.2km road, a perimeter fence, car park and the stabilization of the area of the containerized Hospital facility.
In Kenema the company has completed asphalt work on the township roads after preliminary works were done. Right at this material moment maintenance of roads in the aforementioned places is intensely ongoing.
In an exclusive but snap interview with the Director of Operations at Pavi Fort, Juel Bernard Lawson, he started by intimating that the company is a Sierra Leonean owned company that is well geared to implement more projects in the country.
He informed that 85% work has been done at Ferry Junction, that ongoing work at Congo Cross is virtually completed and that at Lumley it is only the asphalt work that should be done also stating that intense work is taking place in Port Loko but 90% of work has been completed and that the reconstruction of the Kabala-Kurubola-Kono Road Project (261Km) was recently awarded to Pavi Fort.
Lawson told this medium that they are engaged on major cutting of Hill Kabala to Dogolia like Madina with 82 villages completed, Earthwork 80% completed, sub base 50% completed and by passing major curves like Kanuka Affair and close to Dogolia.
He disclosed that though it is an indigenous company Pavi Fort that employs local staff, however, sometimes they hire the services of experts who foreigners if the expertise could not be secured nationally furthering that when it comes to equipment the company has fleet of machines at its disposal to undertake various tasks.
Lawson also mentioned that they have asphalt plants at different places as part of their decentralization strategy also disclosing how they have the best paver which is an electronics device with an expert controlling it and Sierra Leoneans understudying from him.
In terms of challenges, he mentioned how it is difficult to work during day time because of congestion revealing how they work mostly at night. He also stated that work slows down during the rains and funding sometimes though not all times is also an issue to contend with.
The Director of Operations commended President Bio for prioritizing road construction and maintenance as well as for having confidence in an indigenous entity like Pavi Fort to undertake projects that formerly only foreign companies were contracted to do.
A Social Commentator stated that he will copiously praise Pavi Fort for one thing which is implementing various projects at the same time in different and distant locations, a feat which others could not maintaining that it shows how competent and efficient Pavi Fort is.