By Eseoghene Emuke
The Delta State Government has debunked claims that the popular old Udu Bridge in Udu Local Government Area of the state was fast becoming a death trap for road users.
It declared that the “Udu Bridge is safe for use.”
The State Commissioner for Works, Engr. James Augoye, disclosed this on Tuesday in Asaba, the state capital.
Conventional media and social media reports had been awash that the bridge had failed, and has become death trap for motorists.
Augoye, who rubbished the claims, said the concrete bridge which was built in 1970 by Dumex Construction Company did not fail but is very healthy for motorists
According to him, a team of engineers from the ministry of works were dispatched following the alarm by the public that the bridge was in danger and not good for use.
He stated that the team carried out integrity test on the rumoured bridge, stressing that the investigation revealed that nothing was wrong with the bridge.
He, however, stated that the hand rail which stretches over 420 meters on the bridge is vibrating when vehicles are passing through because a section of it has fallen off.
“The bridge is safe, the only problem is the hand rail which runs through the entire bridge. The rails will be vibrating when driving through. A section of it fell off which is resulting in the vibration because part of it is suspended for now.
“Once we are done with the replacement, the vibration will stop. We are going to do a comprehensive rehabilitation of the rails to make it modern,” Augoye said.
The commissioner who spoke alongside his information counterpart, Charles Aniagwu, seized the opportunity to call on the Federal Government to urgently undertake a comprehensive rehabilitation of the Benin-Sapele-Warri highway.
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He said the palliative measure the state government is putting in place to make the road motorable is being overwhelmed by rate of failure of different sections of the road.
Augoye also announced the partial closure of the Asaba-Ilah-Uromi highway as a result of the collapse of a three cell culvert due to the velocity of water.
“It is no longer advisable for motorists to continue using the road. The section eaten by water is as deep as one meter. We have informed the Federal Government about the development. But in the interim, we have contacted our contractors to fill the sections washed off by water. They will fill the eroded embarkment with laterite.
“We have also decided to close the lane that has failed, and there are diversions for motorists. We have informed officials of Delta State Transport Management Agency (DESTMA) and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to be on ground to ensure non-usage of the closed section,” he added.