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Wednesday 3 May 2017

Looming Danger in Bayelsa as Motorists Panic Over Collapsing Bridge

A failing portion of the                                                              Kaiama Brigde Photo: Simon Utebor
A Bayelsa bridge has reportedly begun to collapse causing a lot of panic among motorists who ply the path. A Punch Metro report has shown that the bridge across the Kaiama River, along the popular East-West Road, a major gateway linking the South-South to other parts of the country, is collapsing.
Kaiama, the hometown of the late Ijaw famous fighter, Major Isaac Boro, is in the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
It was observed that the entry and exit points of the bridge had nearly collapsed.
The concrete blocks and the iron rods holding the bridge together had separated, creating a wide gap that makes the bridge difficult to use.
Travellers, motorists, commercial vehicle operators and other road users expressed concern over the deplorable state of the facility.
They said they would soon be cut off from other parts of the country if conscious efforts were not made by the relevant authorities to fix the defective bridge.
When Southern City News visited the bridge on Tuesday, many road users were seen stranded, with some spending hours in gridlock to pass through the short stretch of the road.
Some road users were seen lamenting that the Federal Government’s did take the East-West Road rehabilitation seriously.
A motorist, who gave his name as Johnbull Esemede, lamented his ordeal on the section of the expressway.
Esemede, who said he was driving from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, stated that he would have taken an alternative route if he knew the section of the road had worsened.
He said, “It is unthinkable and worrisome that the major expressway linking the people of South-South was allowed to degenerate to such a pathetic level. The way the bridge is now, if nothing is done quickly to fix it, we will soon be cut off from other states.

“One expects that there should be people going round such sensitive asset, but as it were, nobody seems to care. Maybe they do not want us to travel to other places again.

“I do not want to know who is responsible. What the people want is that the bridge should be repaired to save us from an impending danger.”
Also, a commuter, who identified himself only as Preye, said the East-West Road had become a major burden to the people.
Preye said, “The Bayelsa State section of the expressway has remained unattended to for a long time. The contractors handling the road rehabilitation have been dilly-dallying. I do not intend to put the blame completely on them because in Nigeria, anything goes.”

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