The Kulungugu and Tamne bridges in the Pusiga and Garu districts in the Upper East Region will be opened to commuters within the next three weeks to boost trade with neighbouring countries in the Sahel, as well as facilitate free movement of goods, services and farm produce in the country.
The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Mr Philip Samini, made this known when the Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari, and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Garu, Mr Albert Akuka Alalzuga, inspected work on the bridges last Thursday.
According to Mr Samini, the works were almost complete except for providing “metallic capping to the edges of the bridges which can be done within two weeks.”
Reasons for collapse
The engineer said the collapse of the bridge was attributable to three reasons: fatigue, as a result of consistent heavy loads on the bridges, old age of various components of the bridges that ought to have been replaced every 10 years and removal and pilfering of bolts and nuts that hold the various parts of the bridge together.
According to Mr Samini, the deck on the Kulungugu bridge was also damaged and nearly got submerged in water in September last year, leading to its closure.
For his part, Mr Bukari called on the youth in the region to avoid engaging in acts that tended to disturb the peace in the region and urged the media to help market the region to woo investors to the area for job opportunities.
The Commander of the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at Kulungugu, Mr Dramani Amantana, expressed his delight over efforts being made to re-open the bridge.
He said there was the need for the government to ensure a realisation of the proposed plans to build an in-land port at Kulungugu to boost employment and revenue generation for the country.
The Kulungugu Bridge on the Missiga-Kulungugu road was closed to traffic for major repair works on Monday, March 19, 2018.
The 67-metre bridge was constructed over two decades ago across one of the tributaries of the White Volta linking Missiga and Kulungugu in the Pusiga District.
The bridge is a major entry and exit point for commercial vehicles to and from Burkina Faso.
The Tamne Bridge, on the other hand, links the Garu-Tempane District to the Bawku municipality.
It was re-constructed in 2007 following its collapse in floods that hit the area.