The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) has called on the Ministry of Roads and Highways to as a matter of urgency repair the Assin-Andoe bridge to avoid imminent closure of the road.
The bridge constructed on River Okye on the N8 between Yamoransa and Assin Praso serves commuters to and from the Central, Western, Eastern and Ashanti Regions.
Mr Emmanuel Kwabena Brewu, the Assin South District Director of NADMO, told the Ghana News Agency the bridge was constructed nearly five decades ago with barrels on the international highway.
The bridge has shown visible signs of caving in with widening cracks on the road as years of pronounced erosion and lack of maintenance wreak havoc on the structure.
He said the bridge hanged loosely with quantity of palm fronts in barrels temporary used to support the badly damaged side.
The situation posed danger to commuters, particularly drivers plying the stretch at night.
He indicated that a collapse of the facility would increase traveling hours as drivers would be forced to use Assin-Adubiase-Homaho-Andoe bypass.
Commuters from the coastal area and parts of the Western Regions could get to the Ashanti Region and beyond through Accra or Cape Coast-Twifo Praso or Dunkwa on-Offin to the Ashanti Region and vice versa.
With increasing rains in the area, Mr Brewu said the volume of water passing under the bridge had increased, therefore, exacerbating the pace of deterioration and eminent collapse.
Meanwhile, construction works are ongoing on the bypass with major bridges and drains not completed due to the recent heavy rains in the area, which had forced rivers to overflow their banks.
Mr Ransford Kofi Otabil, a driver, described the gaping crack in the bridge as a disaster in waiting and called on the government to expedite action to avoid any catastrophe.
Madam Diana Amoah, a resident of Assin-Andoe and trader, who sells close to the bridge, expressed disappointment in the inability to correct the defect since 2017.
“We reported the cracks in the bridge to authorities in the year 2017 hoping immediate action would have been taken but to no avail,” she said.
However, checks at the Central Regional Office of the Department of Urban Roads confirmed knowledge of the incident as efforts were underway to remedy the situation.