Tribune Online
Ekiti residents express worry over delay in reconstruction of collapsed Ureje bridge
Over four months after the collapse of Ureje Bridge in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, the residents of the area are becoming apprehensive over delay in its reconstruction by the Federal Government.
In their separate interviews with Tribune Online, the residents expressed displeasure over the perceived abandonment of the project, in spite of the dangerous state of the bridge and assurances were given by the Minister of Works, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola that the reconstruction will be done before the beginning of the rainy season.
The bridge collapsed September last year following persistent flooding caused by torrential rainfall that overran the area before the state government put up palliative measures for motorists.
The bridge located along Ado-Ijan-Ikare road connects the capital city with Afe Babalola University and the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti.
Expressing disapproval over the delay, a resident Mr Kola Olatunde said, “We are worried that what happened last year will repeat itself on this bridge, this year.
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“Four months after the flooding, which affected many homes, property and the even killed a man, nothing has been done. We expected the government to be at the completion stage rather than telling us they have just got approval for its reconstruction,” he stated.
On his part, Victor Adelanke noted that people and motorists in the area were facing a tough time to navigate the bridge to their respective homes as a result of the bad portion of the bridge.
He said: “There is no time in the day that you will not see serious traffic jam on this road because of the bridge. It is getting worse on a daily basis and I will not be surprised if everything finally collapses even without rain. We want to call on the government again to help us so as not cut off some of us from the state capital.”
When contacted, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Honourable Femi Bamisile, said he had advised the Federal Government to undertake the ecological problem around the bridge before embarking on its reconstruction.
Bamisile, representing Ekiti South Federal Constituency II, stated that the contractor which the project was awarded to, lacked the capacity to undertake such highly tasking job, urging the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola to look into that aspect to prevent the execution of a shoddy job.
“The flood that had persisted on the bridge will continue if reconstructed without taking care of the ecological problem in the area. The source of the water must be controlled through proper channelisation process for the job to be well done.
“As the chairman of FERMA in the House and also a member of the Ecological Fund Committee, I have met with the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund, Dr Lawal Abibat and she had promised to work on ecological fund due for Ekiti this January.
“I let her realised that Ekiti has not benefited from the Ecological Fund for the past five to six years. But with the coming of Governor Kayode Fayemi, ecological fund worth over N700 million will be undertaken at Oye and Aramoko Ekiti, while Ureje will also benefit when the money is eventually released,” he assured.
Bamisile added that the collapsed Erio bridge on Aramoko-Efon-Ijebu -Ijesa road, which caved in last year November, would be reopened by the first week of February.
“FERMA and the state government did a thorough job on the bridge. We didn’t do palliative work, but a job that can stand the test of time.
“Though the FERMA did the work for the federal government, the state government provided the alternative road being used by commuters pending the time it will be reopened,” he disclosed.
Ekiti residents express worry over delay in reconstruction of collapsed Ureje bridge
Tribune Online