Kasaawere stream bridge on verge of collapse

BY: Samuel Kyei-Boateng, AKYEM ODA
Mr Bempong, the MCE, speaking to the media
Mr Bempong, the MCE, speaking to the media

The bridge spanning the Kasaawere stream at Akyem Oda which has become a death trap has attracted the attention of the Birim Central Municipal Security Committee (MUSEC).

Last Thursday, the entire members of MUSEC, led by its Chairman, Mr Kwabena Ankomah Bempong, who is also the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), defied a downpour to inspect the condition of the bridge which is on the verge of collapse.

Ministry of Roads

The committee members made a passionate appeal to the Ministry of Roads to urgently rehabilitate the weak bridge to prevent the looming danger of vehicular accidents and their attendant loss of lives and properties.

The team also inspected alternative routes for use as by-pass for motorists, while work was ongoing to demolish and rebuild the dangerous bridge.

Some of the committee members also suggested that a bailey bridge be put over the stream instead.

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Part of the weak bridge blocked

The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) has since last year blocked a part of the bridge that had developed deep cracks. Because of the blocked portion, there is always heavy traffic jam on the bridge.

As many as three accidents have occurred on the bridge this year alone.

Addressing the media at the site, Mr Bempong said he had personally contacted the Roads Minister, Mr Kwasi Amoako Atta, who gave him an assurance that resources were being mobilised to reconstruct the bridge.

Immediate intervention

Mr Bempong stressed that if there were no interventions immediately, the bridge would collapse and people in the Birim South, Birim Central and Akyemansa districts would be cut off from the rest of the country.

“This is because the bridge straddles a strategic portion of the only highway linking Oda to Accra, Agona Swedru, Asamankese, Nsawam and beyond,” he said.

He commended the Oda police for their presence at the site to direct traffic and prevent further accidents.

Donated building materials lying idle

When the MCE was asked what had become of the 100 bags of cement, two trips of sand, two trips of chippings and one tonne of iron rods that were donated by a concerned citizen of Oda, Mr Richard Asante Bediako, to be used to repair the bridge, the MCE said the assembly was waiting for directives from the GHA, since it had the expertise for bridge construction.

Members of the municipal security committee included Lt Col C.T. Broni, the Commandant, Akyem Achiase Jungle Warfare School; ACP F.S. Adikah, Oda Divisional Police Commander; Superintendent Albert Deletsa, the Oda Divisional MTTD Commander, and Mr Richard Debrah, the Municipal Roads Engineer.