By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—The bridge linking Owerri municipality and Nekede in Owerri West local government area, has collapsed.
According to Vanguard investigation, the bridge had previously been severely threatened by a devastating erosion.
A fraction of an articulated vehicle, which crashed into a Jeep on the bridge at the weekend, was found hanging on top of the bridge when Vanguard visited the site.
The problem was, however, compounded when owners of the tipper tried to pull it out of the crash site but ended up creating a serious crater on top of the bridge.
It was also gathered that last weekend’s torrential rain, which swept through the state, further accelerated and widened the resultant crater that finally damaged the bridge.
It would be recalled that the state’s Commissioner for Works and Transport, Mr. Ralph Nwosu, recently announced that plans had reached an advanced stage to replace bridges at Nekede, Egbeada and Assumpta Road, Owerri.
“Work on the bridges would commence immediately after approval by the engineers and consultants engaged by the management of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,” the commissioner said.
Nwosu, however, urged the contracting firm to expedite action on the project, adding that Governor Ikedi Ohakim was in a hurry to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people and would not tolerate any delay in project execution.