6th July, 2012
By Emma Una/ Calabar
The only bridge linking Igoli with Abakpa in Ogoja, northern Cross River State, is now a death trap as the bridge is about to collapse.
Although the pillars of the bridge are still firm along with the concrete slabs that form the surface of the bridge, the meeting point between the road and the bridge on the side that leads to Igoli axis has been systematically corroded by erosion, leaving a large gaping hole underneath the bridge.
P.M.NEWS investigation revealed that rain water flowing down from the road to the river underneath during rainfall washes away the soil used in forming the embankment on which the bridge rests and this has left the surface of the road very thin with a portion of the road already caving in, creating the possibility that the road could completely give way at any moment.
Mr Solomon Modey, a flower seller beside the bridge, said persistent battering of the bridge by rain over the years has washed away a portion of the road.
“Some portions of the road at the edge of the bridge has given way and nobody seems to care. I was the one that placed the branch of a fresh palm frond on the gaping hole created by the erosion to stop vehicles plunging into the valley below,” he said.
Modey said the caved in portion has been abandoned since 2010 and “if that place survives this rainfall it will be a miracle”. The bridge which is a major artery between the two major towns in the area, Igoli and Abakpa, as well as linking the Katsina-Ala-Calabar highway, allows for movement of a lot of people in the area and any sudden collapse would not only cause difficulty for the residents of the area but also might lead to a serious disaster.