Overhead bridges under repairs

BY: Isaac Yeboah

He said the work involved parching of the angle bars on the edges of the bridge and re-enforcing the bridge with new iron rods.

He explained that when the iron rods were exposed, moisture formed on them and they corroded.

"The iron rods are easy to corrode when subjected to environmental conditions," he added.

The engineer said when iron bars supporting the bridge corroded the bars became weak and lost their exceptional properties, a situation which could lead the bridge to possible collapse.

Mr Wang Ping of the CWE said work on each bridge would take one month to complete.

He said the work was difficult due to the nature of the damage caused to the bridge, adding that it involved parching and re-enforcing the bridge.

Recently, the DUR announced that it had begun installing gantry bars at the approaches to the bridge to deny haulage trucks exceeding approved head room limit access.

A gantry bar is a black metal with yellow stripes on it and it is designed in such a way that an alarm installed on it sounds on the approach of a truck carrying a load exceeding the 4.5m head room limit.

At  meeting held in Accra recently, a road safety engineer at the DUR, Mrs Pat Onny, said some of the above-mentioned overhead bridges were becoming weak and the installation of the gantry bars were to prevent their collapse.

The gantry bars shall inform and warn all haulage truck drivers who exceed the acceptable bridge head room heights from using the overhead bridges.

The approved head room limit for trucks is 4.5m, but some drivers exceed this limit and cause damage to the bridges.

Mrs Onny explained that the project was a pilot in the Greater Accra Region and added that it would be replicated in other parts of the country if it was successful.

The consultant working on the implementation of the programme, Mr Emmanuel Degbotse, indicated that although overhead bridges were designed to last at least 60 years, some fairly new overhead bridges in Accra were damaged due to the overloading of trucks.

Story and picture by: Emmanuel Quaye