*No word on dualisation or construction of alternative road
From Joseph Nweke
The age-old bridge linking Abakpa Nike (1st Bus Stop) with the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and Thinkers Corner axis of Enugu, usually threatened by erosion nearly every year, has again raised the eyebrow of residents of the Coal City, who expressed fears over it’s integrity.
However, the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Greg Nnaji, allayed such fears, saying that an intergrity survey has been conducted on the bridge and result being evaluated.
The bridge constructed 7n the early 70s, which carries a single lane road, is the major arterial road into the Abakpa area of Enugu.
Even though residents have asked for the expansion of the bridge, dualisation of the road without success and construction of another link road to Abakpa through the Thinkers Corner axis, successive administration in Enugu never deemed such a priority, thereby putting so much stress on the bridge, especially with complicating traffic hold up along the Nike Road.
The only alternative route to Abakpa, being from Penox Filling Station up to NOAS filling Station axis, is also clogged up due to expansion of the residential axis up to Ugwogo Nike, without any corresponding infrastructural development by the state government.
This puts a lot of traffic pressure on the Abakpa bridge which many fears would collapse anytime soon.
But Engr. Nnagi assured that work would commence to remediate the erosion wash out near the edge of the bridge very soon.
Engr. Nnaji, the Speaker of Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, the State Chief Judge, immediate-past senator for Enugu West (Sen. Gil Nnaji), and several other top public functionaries of the state, are from the Nike axis of the state, but it appears they are not pulling the right chords, which is why Abakpa remains the least developed area of Enugu with most arterial roads untarred, even though vast housing estates are springing up in that axis.
There is no dual carriage way within the Abakpa axis, while drainage and waste management is almost an abandoned issue over there.
The commissioner said his attention had been drawn to it earlier forcing him to go with a team of engineers to conduct integrity test on the bridge and result of the assessment is being evaluated.
He assured that the bridge would not get to disaster, stressing that the erosion would not jeopardize the integrity of the bridge.
All we are trying to do is to come out with a remediation on the embarkment and protection.
He assured that work will soon start to protect the bridge, but said nothing about dualising the road or the construction of alternative routes and construction of street roads in the Abakpa axis.