August 25, 2021

Motorists express worry over bad state of Asejire Bridge

Motorists express worry over bad state of Asejire Bridge

Motorists, especially commercial drivers and commuters, plying the Ibadan-Ife-Ilesa dual carriageway have expressed worry over the deplorable condition of the road and the Asejire Bridge.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bridge links the border communities of Oyo and Osun.

NAN gathered that many motorists in the last one months have been spending hours on the road each time there was accident or breakdown of articulated vehicles on the bridge.

It was also gathered that many portions of the road had been cut off, forcing motorists to be plying one side of the dual carriageway.

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A visit to Asejire Bridge by a NAN Correspondent on Wednesday, showed that the exit portion of the dual carriage way from Oyo State, called for urgent repair to prevent further loss of lives and property.

It was gathered that apart from the visible structural defect noticable on the bridge embarkment, the floor of the bridge was full of cracks and potholes, which made smooth vehicular movement difficult on the road.

During NAN visit, some drivers, who failed to observe extra caution, while on the bridge, had their vehicles broken down on the bridge.

NAN observed that some roadside mechanics and vulcanisers were using the opportunity of the bad state of the bridge and road, to make brisk business.

One of the drivers, Olubunmi Lana, expressed sadness and regret over the deplorable condition of the road, especially the terrible condition of the bridge.

Describing the situation as very pathetic, Lana, a driver with a popular transport company, said he had flat tyre when one of his vehicle’s tyres got stalked on the bad portion of the bridge.

The driver, who was travelling from Abeokuta to Abuja, when the incident happened, said he had spent close to two hours on the spot as a result of difficulty encountered in removing one of the rim’s knot of his car.

Also, another driver, Isiaka Olanrenwaju, said the ball-joint of his bus got spoilt, because he drove fast on the bridge.

Olanrenwaju said that he would not be able to continue his journey to Owo Town in Ondo State, until mechanic fix the damaged ball-joint.

Commenting, Paul Idoko, a truck driver going to Okenne in Kogi, said that his vehicle’s shaft got broken around 4.00 a.m, while driving through the bridge.

Idoko said that he would need to replace it before he could continue with his journey.
A passenger, Mrs Funmilayo Solarin, decried the pains motorists and passengers plying the road were experiencing on daily basis.

Solarin expressed fear over the vibration of the bridge, which she attributed to the likely defect of the bridge’s pillars.

She called on the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and other relevant agencies of government to act fast and fix bad portions of the road and the bridge.

When contacted, the Zonal Coordinator of FERMA, Mrs Mary Adeniran, said her agency was much aware of the condition of the entire strength of the road from Ibadan to Ilesa.

Adeniran said the road was under a major maintenance contract “which is being managed by the Federal Ministry of Works.

“I have spoken with the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo, Mr Kayode Ibrahim, on a number occasions, as regard the state of the road.

“And, he reassured me that the contractor handling the road is working behind the scene to be fully mobilised to the site.

“He said that the contractor is currently preparing some pre-fabrication elements.
“So, we are hoping that very soon work will commence on the road,” she said.

The zonal coordinator, said though, she would not really know the major challenges the contractor was facing, the contractor was up to the task.

She assured motorists and other road users that the Asejire Bridge would certainly receive due attention once the contractor start work on the road.

On whether FERMA could do some palliative works on the bridge before the contractor start working, the zonal coordinator said: “the agency won’t be able to do anything since there is a subsisting contract on the road.

“We are maintenance agency and also under the Federal Ministry of Works, we can not carry out activities on that same road, it would be duplication of efforts.

“Definitely, since there is a subsisting contract on the road, we can not go ahead again and intervene on such road.

“Though, the bridge situation is critical, there are other sections of the road that are critical too.

“The truth of it is that those sections are so critical, that for us even to intervene as an agency, that will be beyond our limit.

“Not that we can not do it, but we don’t have budgetary provision for that presently.

“Since it is under a contract, I believe that whatever should be done can be handled by the Federal Ministry of Works,” she said.

Adeniran implored those plying the road to be patient, promising that her agency would continue to relate with its mother ministry, Works, in respect of the road.

She added that her agency would keep reminding the ministry so that the pressure would be directed at the appropriate quarters to ensure that the contractor does what was supposed to be done.

The Controller of Works in Oyo State, Mr Kayode Ibrahim, reassured motorists and the general public that the contractor would soon start work on the entire stretch of the Ibadan-Ilesa Road.

Ibrahim said the contractor was currently doing some pre-cast elements for the work.

He said that due attention would be concentrated on the road, including the bridge in question once the contractor start work very soon.

The controller urged users of the road to drive with caution.

Vanguard News Nigeria