By Samuel Oyadongha
Providence, yesterday, averted what could have been tragic death of some road users, when one of the ailing bridges on the Etegwe-Tombia-Amassoma Road built some five decades ago collapsed.
The collapsed bridge on which vehicles from opposite directions could not cross simultaneously, is one of the several narrow bridges on the route leading to the Shell multibillion dollar Gbarain-Ubie Gas Gathering Plant.
The road also links the state owned Niger Delta University at Amassoma, Bayelsa Television Station, Gbarantoru and the School of Nursing, Tombia.
It was gathered that the bridge which collapsed, yesterday morning was constructed by Shell about 50 years ago to enable to enable its personnel access to its oil fields in the Gbarain axis of the state.
Traffic on the route is usually busy on account of the flurry of movement to the university community and activities around oil fields in the area.
Source told Vanguard that the rickety structure caved in yesterday, following the impact of a heavy-duty truck which was passing on it, swallowing another car trailing behind it but no casualties were reported.
Commercial activities and movement of goods and people to and from the area had grounded to a halt on account of the development with some young men making brisk business ferrying people across the creek, which the collapsed bridge traversed.
The state Deputy Governor, Chief Werinipre Seibarugu, who visited the scene of the incident hours after it occurred, charged the management of Enerco, the firm handling the construction of the road to immediately construct a by pass beside the collapsed bridge to ease the movement of men and materials.
He said the immediate construction of the by-pass was necessary in view of the various communities that can be linked through the road, adding that that unless the diversion was immediately constructed, those communities would be cut off.
He promised that he will personally monitor the situation until the by-pass had been constructed while a permanent solution is provided soon.
It will be recalled that the administration of Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha constructed the Tombia-Amassoma axis of the road, which turned out to be one of the best roads in the state leaving out the pothole riddled Etegwe-Tombia stretch of the route.