The Building and Road Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-BRRI) is making a strong case for the construction of timber bridges on Ghana's major roads.
The Institute believes that the use of lesser used species to construct bridges would not only cut down the cost of road construction but also prolong the lifespan of such bridges while ensuring value for money.
Dr. Daniel Asenso Gyambibi, the Director of BRRI, who made the submission, underlined the need to derive maximum benefits from the lesser used species by putting them to good use especially in capital projects.
He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after a presentation on the activities of the Institute to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology.
The Committee was on a two-day working visit to acquaint itself with the activities and challenges of the various Institutes of CSIR on its Fumesua campus in the Ejisu Municipality.
He said timber bridges could withstand the heavy traffic on our roads and stressed the need for a paradigm shift as a country in terms of materials used for road and other construction activities.
He called for collaboration between the road user agencies and BRRI to look at how best to scale up the construction of more timber bridges, citing one that was constructed at Kaase so many years ago.
The use of concrete and steel for the construction of bridges, he argued, was too expensive considering the cost of cement and other materials and reiterated the need to consider other cost-effective options.
"More so, the use of timber for the construction of bridges is also good for environmental purposes. Cement emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and so if we are all talking about emission that is causing global warming, then we should take steps to reduce it," he pointed out.
Dr. Gyambibi said the reduction in the use of concrete in road construction in Ghana would significantly contribute to global efforts to the fight against climate change.