By Our reporter
The Anambra state government, over the weekend, drafted some artisans to repair widening cracks at the Arroma flyover bridge in Awka, the state capital, barely 24 hours after refuting claims that the facility was in danger and of doubtful structural integrity. Pictures of some artisans on repair duty on the cracks with cement had surfaced on the internet.
Recall that the Anambra state government, last Thursday, dispelled rumours that the bridge was on the verge of collapse. The state commissioner for works, Marcel Ifejiofor, who made the clarification after an inspection tour of the facility at Arroma area of Awka, urged the public to ignore the false alarm being spread through the social media of its impending collapse.
Ifejiofor, who took journalists around the bridge, stated that the alleged cracks being posted around as a sign that the bridge was collapsing had nothing to do with the integrity of the bridge. He insisted that bridge was strong and safe.
According to him, “the gap is on the side embankment on the Enugu approach which has made scaremongers to shout was added following an accident involving a big lorry on the Kwatta bridge.
Some concerned citizens of the state had raised alarm over the quality of the bridge which was built during the first term of Governor Willie Obiano. Appearance of cracks on all some sections of the bridge further fuelled speculation that substandard materials were used for the project and that if urgent steps were not taken, it would collapse.
But the commissioner insisted that the bridge was built to global standard and that the expansion was an intrinsic part of bridge construction and was not indicative of a crack. “The three Flyover bridges at Aroma, Kwatta and Amawbia were awarded in 2014 and 2015 and remain safe not to mention the fifteen other bridges built across the state by the Obiano administration.
“Our projects are built to last. People are questioning why we put a barricade to stop heavy-duty vehicles plying it, but we know why. It’s a hilly area, and we don’t want articulated vehicles failing while plying them. We are very well aware of what we did there,” Ifejiofor said.
The Construction Manager of IDC, Yousssef Zghaib, who handled the project, also said that the embankment and the bridge are separate units and assured that there was no cause for alarm.