Monday, 17 September 2012

Port Harcourt: Traffic gridlock as bridge collapses

There was serious distress on the roads in Port Harcourt, Rivers State after a popular bridge in the city caved during a downpour yesterday.

The bridge collapsed at about 5pm as residents streamed back into the city to resume work today after weekend holidays.

Though no life was lost, the incident caused heavy traffic along the busy Aba/Port Harcourt Expressway and the adjoining Airport Road.

Security men and members of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) had a hectic time controlling the traffic.

The damage on the bridge was said to have occurred at the stadium end, very close to the Information Communications Technology, ICT, Centre , owned by the state government.

Daily Sun gathered that the bridge had been showing signs of collapse for several months, before it finally caved in yesterday.

Reacting to the bridge collapse, the state Commissioner for Transport, Tolofari George, urged traffic agencies including, TIMA-RIV and FRSC, to make movement easier for the motorists.

The Airport bridge was constructed in 2006 by the administration of former Governor Peter Odili and commissioned by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The bridge was constructed by construction firm, Bulletin.

The Commissioner for Works, Chief Victor Giadom, who spoke on behalf of Governor Rotimi Amaechi, said investigation carried out on the soil test showed the construction on the soil was faulty.

Giadom said: “The Ministry did a deep soil investigation, after we got a report on it, about three months ago. That was why we used concrete barriers to close the faulty part of the bridge to traffic.”

The commissioner disclosed that plans were underway to correct the technical error.

According to him, efforts would be made to make the busy flyover function once more.

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