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Bridge over River Mamieso collapses

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
The heavy-duty truck which caused the accident stuck on the collapsed steel bridge on River Mamie
The heavy-duty truck which caused the accident stuck on the collapsed steel bridge on River Mamie

A steel bridge that links Mamieso to other communities in the Wassa Amenfi East Municipality in the Western Region has collapsed.

The bridge, which is over River Mamie at Mamieso, connects the community to Wassa Akropong, the municipal capital and sprawling commercial town.

Some other communities affected by the bridge collapse include Wantram, Afransie, Asuogya Krobo, Abrokyire Krobo, Beposo, Epom, Dwokwaa and Nyamebekyere, among others.

The accident happened last Sunday morning when a heavy-duty truck carrying construction boulders for the construction of a 55.6 kilometre cocoa road in the area was crossing the bridge at Mamieso.

The crossing

The long heavy-duty truck had reached the middle of the bridge when it caved in, trapping the truck and pushing the bridge deep into the river.

In the meantime, the contractor working on the road project has been able to retrieve the truck, but the bridge is out of use.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Amenfi East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mrs Helena Appiah, said the assembly, in collaboration with the Ghana Highways Authority, had made a diversion through an alternate bridge for temporary passage.

She said it was important that the bridge was fixed before the onset of the rainy season.

“River Mamieso is at a low level at the moment and we are entering the rainy season which calls for fast action to be taken to rectify the situation.

“The alternate bridge created was opened to traffic last Tuesday morning but it is for small vehicles only and not for heavy trucks carrying construction materials, cocoa, timber and the like,” she said.

Mrs Appiah said the assembly’s primary focus now was to assist the people of Mamieso and others in riverine and farming communities gain access to healthcare and other services without difficulty.

Highways engineers

She said a team of engineers from the Ghana Highway Authority had visited the scene and lent support towards building the temporary bridge and had also carried out an assessment of the collapsed bridge and concluded that “the bridge is not completely damaged and  can be salvaged”.

She said a maintenance team would be dispatched to repair it for use while the contractor made moves to have a new bridge constructed over the river.

Vital link

The MCE said the bridge was a vital link connecting the 55.6 kilometre cocoa road in the Amenfi East Municipality which continued and ended at Ankwanso in the Amenfi Central District and the Western North Region. 

“From Ankwanso, the cocoa road provides easy passage to Bibiani, Sefwi-Wiawso and Bodi and to neighbouring Cote d’Ivoire. The stretch is, therefore, very important and also strategic,” she said.

She assured the people of the affected communities that the bridge would be fixed as soon as possible to end the inconvenience.

 “I understand how you feel over the collapsed bridge and the difficulty that you are going to face with your travels and in accessing market centres and cocoa depots.

“Let me assure you again that the Ghana Highways Authority will soon have the bridge repaired as we wait for the contractor to install a new one,” she said.