Kwara govt appeals to FG over damaged bridges, roads

THE Kwara State Government has appealed to the Federal Government to fast track the completion of the Moro/Ohan bridges in Asa Local Government area of the state to prevent further disasters caused by erosion around Oyun bridge in Ilorin, the state capital.

The state Commissioner for Works and Transport Rotimi Illiasu made the appeal during an assessment visit to the collapsed bridges and some dilapidated federal roads alongside the Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) in the state, Jato Abdulakeem.


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The commissioner said: “Our appeal to the Federal Government, and Federal Ministry of Works in particular, is that they should speed up work on the new bridge that will serve as a permanent solution to the collapsed ancient Ohan bridge, in the interest of motorists and commuters plying the road on a daily basis.

“Another appeal is to our representatives at the National Assembly. Although, we have been engaging them and they also assured us that they will follow it up during budget presentation and also visit the Minister of Works concerning the federal roads in the state that are not in good condition, and we believe that in a very short time we will start to see changes on our federal roads.”

According to the commissioner, some of the other roads that need the Federal Government’s intervention are Olorunsogo/Geri-Alimi, and Asa-Dam/Offa-Barrage.

Speaking on palliative measures to make the steel bridge more convenient and accident free, Illiasu recounted some of the attempts that were made to fix the bridge.

“The contractor has commenced another palliative work on the iron bridge, I am in regular contact with him, and he has assured me that the palliative work on the bridge will be completed before the end of this week.

“But, what we are actually after is how the new bridge will be completed on time. It’s our job to keep reminding appropriate quarters and we will keep pushing until we get desired results,” he said.

The FERMA director, Abdulakeem, said the bridge was substandard and has been repaired by the agency on several occasions.

“The bailey bridge is substandard in the sense that it was not designed to accommodate heavy vehicles and to that extent, it was making a lot of impacts on the panels and beams.

“Whenever it happens like that, as a federal agency, we always respond and do palliative repair on it to ensure that it is motorable again.”




     

     

    The ICIR reported the plights of residents and drivers plying the Aiyelabowo/Moro bridge in December, 2021.

    The bridge serves as a link to the northern part of Oyo State and the Benin Republic.

    The construction of the highway bridge dates back to the colonial era and given its persistent collapse after several rehabilitation efforts that have gulped millions of naira, it is believed that the 100 years’ lifespan of ancient steel bridges may have been exceeded.

    This area, which is central to huge economic activities for startups and established businesses with a potential to boost Internally generated revenue for the state, has remained a death trap and an obstacle to trade.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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