Home News Government To Reconstruct Aklakpanu Steel Bridge – North Tongu DCE

Government To Reconstruct Aklakpanu Steel Bridge – North Tongu DCE

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North Tongu Dce Divine Osborn Fenu
North Tongu Dce Divine Osborn Fenu

The North Tongu District Chief Executive (DCE) in the Volta Region, Hon. Divine Osborne Fenu has given the assurance that government would reconstruct the collapsed Sayikope-Aklakpanu Bridge that went down a few days ago with a salt cargo truck. Even though the DCE did not indicate how soon reconstruction works would start, he described the bridge and road as strategic and important, adding that the government cannot afford to disregard fixing the facility.

The Sayikope-Aklakpanu Bridge collapsed on Thursday night of 25th January 2024 when a cargo truck carrying some six hundred (600) bags of twenty-five (25) kilograms of salt from Sege-Ada, was using the route and headed for Kpassa in the Nkwanta North District of the Oti Region.

The situation has since cut off several vehicles from using that stretch of the road that links Mafi Adidome in Central Tongu and Juapong in the North Tongu District. The road is one of the short routes from Mafi Adidome through Juapong to Ho or Anum-Asikuma in the Eastern Region and also through all the Peki communities through to Kpeve and Kpando and beyond. From Juapong to Adidome, the road also connects Sogakope in South Tongu to either Accra, the national capital through Ada (Kasseh) in Ada East or Anloga in Anloga District, Akatsi in Akatsi South, Dzodze in Ketu North and Aflao in the Ketu South Municipality.

Several motorists including market women have since resorted to crossing the Aklakpa stream with canoes to continue their journey to communities in and around the area and beyond.

About ninety (90) school children of the St. Anthony R.C. Basic School at Husikope also cross the stream daily to and fro school. These school pupils live in communities such as Masape, Sayikope, Anekpo, and parts of Tsetsekpo which are at the Adidome end of the bridge. These pupils at all costs have to cross the stream to school for their lessons.

District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Hon. Divine Osborne Fenu has since visited the accident scene with engineers and some officials of the Assembly to assess the situation and the damage caused.

Speaking to our news team in an interview after the inspection, Mr. Fenu gave the assurance that the government would reconstruct the collapsed bridge pretty soon. Even though the DCE did not give timelines, he said the bridge and road are strategic, explaining that the government cannot afford to ignore its reconstruction.

The DCE expressed concern about earlier reports suggesting that some unscrupulous individuals and saboteurs had begun removing some bolts and knots from the steel bridge before its collapse and cautioned the general public against what he described as such diabolical and unpatriotic acts against the state. ‘The law will deal with anyone caught in such a nation-wrecking act’, Hon. Fenu warned.

The North Tongu DCE confirmed the weak nature of the bridge, explaining that it was that situation that compelled the road authorities to put up notices at both ends of the facility alerting pedestrians and other road users about the state of the bridge, constructed in 1998 by Kasap Construction Company Limited.

According to him, plans were far advanced since late last year to carry out some maintenance work on the bridge after assessments and estimates were done by engineers, adding that the work was delayed because of all the attention on the Akosombo dam spillage disaster.

Hon. Fenu stressed the need for the residents of the area not only to be vigilant but also to apprehend or report such bolt and knot-removing saboteurs for the law to deal with them.

At the time of filing this story, the cargo truck with registration number GR 7325-17 I is still trapped in the collapsed bridge in the Aklakpa River, eight (8) days after the incident. Road Safety officials who had assessed the situation and unsuccessfully attempted to remove the truck and the bridge told out Newsteam that they would require a bigger crane to be in a better position to execute the assignment.

The sixty (60) to seventy (70) meter long bridge is one of the two (2) steel bridges in addition to one (1) concrete one linking several communities between Adidome and Juapong. The bridge has not seen any major renovation or maintenance work since its construction twenty-six (26) years ago.

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