Anambra communities move to protect Awka North-Awka South link bridge from collapse

Residents of Isuaniocha and Mgbakwu on Tuesday commenced palliative works on Obibia Bridge, connecting Awka South through Okpuno and Awka North Council through Isuaniocha.

The bridge connects other Communities such as Amanuke, Urum and parts of Achala all in Awka North to the state capital.

Some of the reinforcement rods on the bridge have been unearthed with mild gullies which hold pool of water on the structure.

Mr Frank Mkpume, the President General of Isuaniocha Town said the move was to save the bridge which was strategic to them from possible collapse as there was no alternative route to the area.

Mkpume who described the area as major landlords to larger population working in Awka said there was need for government of Anambra to intervene as the palliative may not provide lasting solution to the problem.

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“This palliative is from the self efforts of people and residents of Isuaniocha and Mgbakwu communities, we have done it in the past but it was not good enough but we have come back to do a more formidable job.

“This time we will use chippings, sharp sand and cement to protect this bridge so that the reinforcement rods can be covered and that the flood water can flow out without gathering to cause further damage.
“Isuaniocha is the gateway into Awka North where a large population of people working in Awka, Federal establishment and state higher institution but there is no road leading to these places.

“I am speaking with pain in my heart because we are also part of the state capital territory but it appears Awka is abandoned, we need government intervention for sustainable repairs,” be he said.

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Prof Jaja Nwanegbo, a resident of the area said they had been passing through difficult times using the bridge because of the deplorable state.

Nwanegbo feared that the people living in he area may not be able to access their homes if government does not intervene soon.

“Government has to make up their mind on what they want to do to this bride, it is in bad shape and the traffic during peak hours is something else, we are afraid that we may not be able access our homes if it collapse.

“They must find a way to channeling water away from the bridge,” he said.

Mr Jonathan Adams, a tricycle operator said they were spending so much on repairs as the bad section cause serious damage to their vehicles.

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Adams lauded the community people for their timely efforts and that it would go a long way to ameliorating their plights.
Reacting to the development, Mr Marcel Ifejiofor, Commissioner for Works in Anambra said the government was aware of the condition of the bridge but that it was not as endangered as most people thought.

Ifejiofor, said a team of engineers had inspected the bridge and concluded that the integrity was still intact.
He said the government would carry repair works on the bridge when the rains were over.

“We will work on that bridge as soon as the rains are over but the bridge is not as bad as people think, our engineer have been there,” he said.

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