They said it wouldn’t happen; which is why some continued to build. They said the govt would not have the ‘cahunas’ to clear out the Lumley junction area. On Saturday, they were proved wrong as work commenced on the dismantling of buildings and the market at Lumley. This is all for a good cause though… National Development which is more important than any individual or enterprise. As far as I know, residents have been compensated.
This is part of the preparation for the “Extension of Wilkinson Road to Water Street” Project, which has an optimistic end date of July 2011. Wilkinson Road through Congo Cross to Water Street will be upgraded to a four lane highway.
Residents and landlords of the Lumley and Juba hill area should be licking their lips because if the congestion problem in that area is solved.. not only will it ease their daily frustrations but it will become a more desirable place to live once again. Sadly, it lost its prestige after the conflict and I know from experience through our real estate business that hardly anyone wants to live there these days. These areas were the choice for Presidents, Ministers and those fortunate enough to be in the higher end of the Sierra Leone – or certainly Freetown’s – citizenry.
So as I sit in my office at Congo Cross, looking at my vandalised sign board next to the fence that is supposed to be knocked down as a part of this project; I’m trying to visualise what a four lane highway running right in front of us will look (or sound like) in the next twelve months. Scary, but totally worth it for National Development.