The District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Central Gonja Mustapha Mahama has described the closure of the Buipe Yapei Bridge as unfortunate
The closure of the bridges has resulted in huge traffic jam in Buipe and Yapei, leading to mounting agitations from commuters and drivers.
Speaking on Wake up Tamale, Radio Tamale’s Current Affairs program, Mr Mahama maintained that the purpose of the closure of the bridges was for the safety of the road users.
He said the bridges have outlived their lifespans, thereby posing danger to commuters.
“This is an unfortunate situation that the government and for that matter everybody is trying to make easier for motorists. We know that the two bridges are very important bridges which link the southern sector to the northern sector, and you know that these bridges are very old and have outlived their ages,” he stated.
He assured that engineers were working very hard to put the two bridges back in shape and open them to traffic.
The Ghana Highway Authority on Monday November 20, 2017 announced the closure of the two bridges to allow for maintenance works.
The authority provided alternative routes for commuters as follows:
WESTERN CORRIDOR: Accra – Kumasi – Techiman – Wenchi – Bamboi – Bole – Wa
EASTERN CORRIDOR: Accra – Tema – Hohoe – Jasikan – Nkwanta – Oti Damanko – Bimbila – Yendi
CENTRAL CORRIDOR: Accra – Kumasi – Mampong – Ejura – Atebubu – Yeji (Ferry Crossing) – Salaga
Kintampo – Techiman – Nkoranza – Ejura – Atebubu – Yeji (Ferry Crossing) – Salaga
WESTERN/CENTRAL CORRIDOR: Tarkoradi – Tarkwa – Bogosu – Ayamfuri – Dunkwa – Obuasi – Kumasi – Techiman – Wenchi – Bamboi – Bole – Wa
But the closure of the bridges has left many passengers stranded and fares of commercial buses soaring. Some of the drivers accuse the security agencies of extorting money from them.
Responding to a question on extortion by the security agencies, Mr Mahama said he had warned the security agencies to desist from the act or face prosecution when found out.
“This came to light somewhere about two days ago. I called my police commander; I call the military to warn them. Anybody who is caught doing that, the law will take its course. Unfortunately some of the drivers are not helping because when you get there and they tell you that there is danger please don’t use it,” he added.
The DCE revealed that the construction of the bridges will begin in 2018.
“I think that this is very necessary and we all know if you can remember the 2018 budget that was read just a couple of days ago, the two bridges are in the budget for new ones to be constructed. Government has seen the need to maintain those ones for now but in 2018 new bridges are going to be constructed,’’ he stated.
He appealed to the users of the bridges to exercise extreme patience to enable the engineers the maximum time to complete the task.
He also gave the assurance that the bridges will open up in a few weeks’ time.
By: Fatahiya Mohammed, radiotamale.com