Today can report that the lives of travelers, commuters and pedestrians who use the Odaw river bridge at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra on a daily basis are in danger.
The danger that portends for users is in respect of the fact that the bridge is currently going through a creepy wear and tear process.
Today observed that the construction works on the three-tier interchange at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle has led to the fast deteriorating surface and the wearing off of the bitumen joining the ends of the bridge to that of the main bridge which has not received any major repairs.
The Kwame Nkrumah Circle is a key intersection in the arterial road network in Accra.
Our investigations indicated that about 84,000 vehicles ply the Odaw bridge on a daily basis.
The intersection project, funded with a loan from the Brazilian government and being executed by Queiroz Galvao, a Brazilian company, is estimated at 74 million Euros.
A visit to the Odaw river bridge by Today recently, following several complaints by users, revealed a detachment of the slabs that join the both ends of the bridge.
This development, the paper observed, has created potholes that make it dangerous for vehicles which ply that part of the bridge.
As a result, drivers have been compelled to abandon the right lane and instead use the left lane to ostensibly avoid plunging their vehicles into potholes due to the risk it poses to motorists.
Today witnessed a tragic incident where a car traveling from the Kaneshie-Awudome Cemetery end of the bridge nearly collided with an on-coming car from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle end, after the former had avoided the pothole.
As if that is not enough, other parts of the bridge were also being affected as a result of its deteriorating state.
There are visible signs of loose metal joints that are equally posing danger to the continued use of the bridge by motorists.
Another scary situation is that while the Odaw river bridge continues to deteriorate at a fast rate with state institutions like the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) looking unconcerned, there is a fast eroding earth under the bridge that has the potential of weakening the foundations and the pillars on which the bridge stands on from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle direction.
Speaking to commuters, they lashed out at the GHA and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) over their inaction and urged the ministry of roads and highways authority to, as a matter of urgency, save the bridge from imminent collapse.
A trader who plies her trade around the bridge, Stella Mensah, told Today that traders have personally informed both the AMA and GHA authorities about the state of the bridge, but it is unfortunate that they have not responded positively to their pleas.
Another worried trader, Ramatu Ali Fuseini, complained bitterly that “we have made several appeals to the city authorities but we are yet to see any action.”
She thus seized the opportunity to appeal to GHA to quickly visit the bridge to enable them assess and repair the rusting expansion and contraction joints on the bridge.
Madam Fuseini described the bridge as a death trap to both motorists and passengers, as the iron bars in the joints are rusting, with the rubber bands seriously damaged.
A driver, Mr. Samuel Akakpor, also described the state of the bridge as very dangerous and called on the authorities to move in swiftly to attend to it before the unfortunate happens.