District Four, Grand Bassa County – Representative Vicent Willie (Ind. District 4 Grand Bassa County) and his constituents are preparing to dedicate what has been described as “his signature campaign project” in Wee Statutory District.
The lawmaker partnered with the Liberia Agriculture Company and his constituents to construct a major bridge which now directly connects LAC plantation to the district’s most populous commercial area – the newly established Wayzohn City. The construction of the bridge cost nearly US$150,000.
When dedicated and officially opened to the public, residents of the LAC plantation and its surrounding communities will have easy access to Compound #3 Market, which is the busiest commercially hub in the district.
On the other hand, residents of Wayzohn will have easy access to the LAC Hospital by moving sick people in less than 10 minutes as opposed to the one hour route via the planation’s main entrance.
Also, commercial bikers will be able to commute passengers between LAC and Compound #3 easily as compare to the situation they face before the construction of the bridge.
Motorbike riders were often constrained to offload passengers and their belongings and then pay extra fees to carry their bikes in bare hands across the makeshift plank crossing path.
The construction of the bridge is the first of its kind since the establishment of LAC plantation back in 1959, which Liberia’s second-largest rubber plantation.
Rep. Willie, during his 2017 campaign, promised to work with LAC management and his constituents to construct the bridge.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend following an inspection of the project, Hon. Willie recounted the challenges he endured crossing the bridge when he was growing up as a teenager in the district.
“When we were small, we suffered here and I don’t want to see our future leaders, our mothers, fathers and sisters suffering and so we have built this bridge,” he said.
“The construction works are over and there is a backfilling ongoing, which will be followed by planting of grass and placement of concrete coverts to cancel or shelter running water along the bridge”.
He mentioned that the completion of the bridge is “one of his biggest achievements” so far for the benefit of the ordinary people who entrusted to lead.
Speaking to LACSA Radio in Wee Statutory District on Monday morning, Rep Willie, who is an International oil and gas expert, thanked LAC Management and noted that the biggest credit for the construction of the bridge “goes to former National Bureau of Concession Director General, Gregory Coleman”.
Willie praised Coleman for showing “unmatched love for the county and working with dedication to ensure that company committed itself to supporting the bridge construction”.
Engineers overseeing the construction recently turned over the keys of the bridge’s gate to Representative Willie, thanking him for allowing them contribute to national development.
According to lawmaker, he has started planning an elaborate program to thank all those who contributed to the bridge construction.
He, however, stressed that the event will be done in high consideration of existing health protocols put in place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
He added that there will also be a naming ceremony to decide a name for the bridge but vowed that the bridge will not be named in his honor even though it was built under his watch.
Edwin Weljay, City Mayor of Wayzhon, has been supervising the construction of the bridge. He describes Representative Willie as a “game changer” and said the decision to directly link LAC with the commercial town of Compound #3 has further “solidified Wayzohn’s city status”.
“We are very overwhelmed and we will ensure that we maintain this structure. It will help improve movement as well as commercial activities and give our city a real meaning,” Mayor Weljay told reporters.
Meanwhile, many residents of Wee Statutory District have hailed the lawmaker for the project.
Moses L Cooper, a youth of the district, thanked the lawmaker for his “tremendous and unprecedented leadership.”
He said he and others have decided to “launch a movement that will mobilize and recruit the masses to gown the Representative and certificate the LAC Management for the great milestone”.
Also, a group of petty traders, who are mostly women, has also announced plans to hold a massive celebration during the dedication of the bridge.
Mamie Wesseh, the head of the coldwater vendors, said “We have never seen this kind of development since LAC came here 1959”.
“We are very happy for our son who ensured that this bridge is constructed. We can bring our ice, juice and cold water from the plantation now and sell and feed our children,” she said.