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Regional News of Thursday, 6 December 2018

Source: Daniel Bampoe

Deteriorated Otopkolu bridge poses danger to road users

The nature of the Otopkolu bridge

An over aged bridge in Oterpkolu in the Yilo Krobo Municipal of the Eastern Region, have become a death trap to road users and travelers who ply along the Otopkonu – Onumako road.

Residents are, therefore, appealing to President Nana Akufo-Addo led government to fix the problem in order to prevent future accidents and death in the event that the bridge collapses.

The Oterpkolu bridge at times witnesses a heavy vehicular and human traffic due to its multifunctional purposes as its being use by users from the Volta Region and Eastern Regions respectively.

In recent times, however, some cracks on the bridge have weakened and exposed the said bridge and for that matter, likely to cause death for travelers within the district.

Drivers using the bridge on daily basis in an encounter with the media expressed fears about the state of the bridge.

According to them, the size of the bridge is too small which makes it difficult for drivers to move along and has also lamented on the bad state of the bridge which poses threat to them.

However, the drivers made a passionate appeal to the government to act swiftly and come to their aid so they can be relieved from the dangers, saying that should the bridge collapse in the area there wouldn’t be any other means of transport for them and that, transportation of food from the rural areas to the cities would be difficult.

A farmer called Francis Agorponu also expressed his grievances with regards to the state of the Oterpkolu bridge which has become a death trap for residents in the Upper Manya Krobo district constructed somewhere around 1939, he revealed.

When asked if he sees any disaster happening should happened, he “Yes, the disaster will come because the bridge is already sinking. The river bed was very low and because of this they have had an irrigation project at some part of the river which has blocked the water too from flowing and that, calling for the construction of the bridge".

“The bridge has become a death trap for those of us plying this road and you can see the centre of the roads which seems to sink inside. So, we are pleading, whoever is in charge of this road should see to it that the bridge is being renovated for us.

“When it rains, it is difficult for us to use the road because of the poor state of the bridge and so we are pleading with the government to respond to our cry” he emphasized.

According to him, when heavy equipment’s of machinery ply on the bridge those passing on it experiences some shakes as he believes a day will come where the Eastern corridor between Koforidua, Volta Region towards Accra will collapse which means there wouldn’t be any other means of transport for travelers.

On the contrary, a concern citizen in the area, Nene Sakite said, the bridge was supposed to be renovated 80 years ago yet it has still not been repaired.

“What we are doing here is not partisan but we trying to take care of our lives here. This bridge as I was told needs to be renovated 80 years ago and yet nothing has been done and you can see heavy duty vehicles plying this road. The bridge is very weak and can kill thousands in a day. I heard government is exporting plantain to some neighboring countries and this very bridge is the leads Krobo and its neighboring towns around to the cities. We are not talking about NPP, CPP or NDC but it is about citizens lives we are protecting” he narrated.

However, he therefore appealed to the government to come to their aid, saying that there would not be no food for the people of Krobo land if the bridge collapse and that, calling for an immediate intervention before any disaster comes.

Anthony Bentil who teaches at Sra Presby Primary school in Somanya revealed that, the roads connected to Otopkolu and Onumako are not constructed because of the bridge and as a result, if the bridge is not constructed, farmers plying the road would suffering with their foodstuffs should the bridge collapse.

He noted that "if the bridge collapses, most of the foods that comes from the Upper Manya, Agogo and the nearby villages cannot get to the cities and even the heavy - duty tracks that are plying the roads is disturbing as the bridge begins to sink gradually".

"One day their will be a disaster but we don't have to wait for people to die before we think of constructing the bridge. So, we need the help of the government to come and construct the bridge for us so that we can ply the road with good condition" he lamented.