Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma has officially launched the construction work for a major highway linking Freetown to the north of the country.

Koroma Wellington - Masiaka Highway Project Launching

The four-Lane highway, estimated to cost $154 million to be bankrolled by a Chinese loan, will run from Wellington in the east end of Freetown to Masiaka.

The Chinese Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) will construct the 70km road and the project also involved widening it from the current two lanes to four.

Launching the project on Monday at Waterloo, some 40km outside the capital Freetown, President Koroma said it represented another milestone in the China-Sierra Leone relationship.

According to a statement from the Presidency on Tuesday, the Chinese assured a “first class” road network.

Besides opening up the capital to more businesses, the road will also ease traffic in that part of the city.

According to government officials, the road, when completed, will be run by the Chinese for about 20 years before handing it over to the government.

The concession agreement, which was approved by Parliament in March, entails that the road will be operated on toll basis.

“We are happy that we have enjoyed our working relationship with the Sierra Leoneans,” Du Jianguo, the head of the CRSG in Sierra Leone,