Less than two years after reconstruction, the Bongo-Balungu Bridge on the Bongo-Balungu-Namoo road in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region has started deteriorating, posing risks to road users.
A visit to the place by the Ghana News Agency saw that multiple potholes had been created on the road, while its edges were being washed away by erosion caused by the recent rains.
The bridge which had a river beneath it after the reconstruction lacked stone pitching to withstand heavy rainfall and erosion among other pressures.
This has caused its under and edges to be scooped and cut towards the middle of the road and the road being washed away, exposing the concrete bridge to severe damage.
If the bridge collapses as the rains set in, it would be the third time in the last 19 years.
Mr Edward Asekere, the Assemblyman for the Balungu Electoral Area told GNA that it was sad that resources that could have been used for other development projects were sunk into the rehabilitation of the bridge and yet it was all going to waste.
He said the people were afraid that if it was not attended to immediately, it would collapse and cut them off from accessing economic activities, education and healthcare in the district capital, Bongo.
“I called the contractor and he told me that he has not been paid for the money that he mobilised and came and started the work and said he was supposed to do stone pitching but he has not been paid,” he revealed.
He said the residents were worried about the issue and called on the government to pay the contractor to return to site to do quality work to prevent it from collapsing and causing financial loss to the state.
When GNA contacted Ms Rita Atanga, the Bongo District Chief Executive, she said the road was key to the development of the district and steps had been taken to engage the contractor to find out why he had abandoned site.
The Bongo-Balungu Bridge sits on the eight-kilometer stretch of road from Bongo, the district capital, to Namoo, Ghana’s border to neighbouring Burkina Faso and was constructed in 2003.
The major link road was not rehabilitated for a long time and deteriorated, causing accidents, loss of lives and property.
In the early part of 2017, the bridge caved in and totally collapsed making it a death trap especially anytime it rained.
The road also links several major communities including Balungu, Lungu, Sambolgo, Nayorigo, Namoo, Kansoe, Zorko to the district and serves as the main route of the people to access health care at the district hospital, education and engage in economic activities and vice versa.
These communities were cut off making people to use alternative routes including the Feo-Soe road or Vea-Gowrie road which are longer distances from the district capital.
As a result of the unbearable condition, residents and other opinion leaders in the district particularly from the Balungu and its adjoining communities undertook several demonstrations and appealed to government to fix the road, particularly the bridge.
In July, 2018, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut sod for the construction of the of the Bongo-Balungu-Namoo road including the Bongo-Balungu bridge and other bridges within the Bongo District.
The contract was awarded to DAMIT Enterprise and was expected to be completed in 2019 but has since been abandoned.
Kindly read all the Latest News, Entertainment News and gossips here. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Telegram.