Residents groan over collapsed bridge in Kogi | Dailytrust

Residents groan over collapsed bridge in Kogi

  Cross view of the bridge
Cross view of the bridge

Residents of Ozuma town and environs in Okene local government area of Kogi Central will continue to live with the concomitant effects of the collapsed bridge of the town that has closed shop to vehicular movements in recent times.

The multi-million naira bridge that was constructed by the state government collapsed under the weight of a truck believed to be owned by a construction company.

The replaced collapsed bridge was intended to make life more bearable for operators of commercial vehicles and car owners that ply the ever-busy road either to or from outside the Kogi central in the state.

Daily Trust correspondent observed that tar is alien to the laterite road at least for some decades past while befitting culverts on either side of the road were constructed to channel drainage to the seasonal gutter that dissected Ozuma town into two.

But for the pedestrians, it is, as usual, a beehive of businesses.  They found the upper part of the bridge as convenient for them to cross over to the other side of the road through a rocky bed stream with precaution for fear of falling on the rock.

Alhaji Ozovehe Yekini is a regular user of the road. In his word when contacted to comment of the failed bridge, he has this to say, “I believed that government had good intention to make life bearable for both the commuters and the commercial operators in this axis.

“We heaved a sigh of relief when the construction of the bridge was begun sometime last year. This road that you see leads to Edo state through Ibilo. Most of these vehicular movements normally resort to this road in doing business with Edo state from here instead of passing through the windy Okene- mangogo road.

Except you have something to do in Okene, you have no reason to abandon this Ozuma-Ibilo road if you must go to that side. But here we are. Our dream of a better option is shattered because of the collapsed bridge.

“I am from this community. Everybody was happy when the idea to construct the bridge was conceived. You can see it yourself. No vehicle passes here running close to a year.

“After sometime however, some of us had the sneaking dealing that the materials used were not of standard that can withstand the test of time.  The rods look tiny and we began to wonder if the company was using the appropriate ones meant for a bridge of this magnitude.

“You can see the one they have just started with different rods. In my own view, if they continue like this to the end, we may have a better bridge that may stand the test of time.”

Malam Abdulaziz, a commercial driver said, “ we have abandoned that road for a year now. When we saw the construction going on since last year, we thought that in the nearest future, we would have a linking bridge between this community and Ibilo in Edo state.

“The transport between this place and Ibilo has almost doubled because we have to pass through the other road to Magongo before reaching Ibilo. No other shortcut to Ibilo apart from this one.

“Government should expedite action on the bridge so that commuters can benefit and have their transport fare reduced in these hard times. It is an appeal we are making to the government. If the other one collapsed because of poor quality job, extra care should be taken this time around not to repeat the mistake of the past.”

In his statements made available to our correspondent, the public Relations Officer of Ministry of Works, Mr. Abah Benjamin Adejoh quoted the commissioner, Engineer Abubakar Ohere as saying that there was neither failed culvert nor bridge in Ozuma as wrongly held in some quarters.

According to the commissioner, the collapsed double cell culvert was due to the overzealous company truck driver who violated the curing time of the project.

He said that all necessary engineering standards were observed, stressing that the collapse was not as a result of engineering failure.

However, the culvert will be reconstructed by the constructing company, adding that the driver was already being penalised.

Commenting on the editorial column of Daily Trust of 17 May 2021, Mr. Adejor observed that it packed substance and was sponsored by the opposition party.

“How can a reputable medium like Daily Trust keep hyping the occurrence by calling a culvert a bridge just to seek irrelevant attention?”

Meanwhile the collapsed bridge is being replaced with another one under construction.

At the time our correspondent visited the site, there was no soul from the construction company that was there.

 

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