By: Ewoenam Kpodo | Voltaonlinegh |
The #FixTheLowerVoltaBridgeNow march slated for Thursday, September 26 has been called off and put on hold pending fulfillment of a promise made by the authorities to fix the bridge in two weeks.
The intended demonstration is part of efforts by residents of Sogakope, South Tongu District capital in the Volta Region to get authorities repair the rusting expansion and contraction joints on the Lower Volta Bridge also Known as Sogakope Bridge, which they say is getting progressively worse and claiming lives of residents.
The 650-metre long Lower Volta Bridge constructed from January 1965 to January 1967 connecting Sogakope to Sokpoe over the Volta River on the Togo-Ghana-Ivory Coast corridor has been described by many including the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Area, Emmanuel Louis Agama as death trap
The decision to put the demonstration on hold followed a meeting between the organisers and the appropriate authorities on Tuesday, September 24 where it was agreed that there was the need for an immediate intervention to fill the road surfaces which are the cause of accidents.
The meeting was attended by the Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, DCE for South Tongu, Director of Bridges at the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Yaqub Koray and his team and the organisers represented by George Kwesi Asafo, Yao Amekor, Kanghla Blasu, Joe Kove-Yaw and Gladys Afetsi.
During the engagement, it was revealed that the fixing of the problem on the bridge had been awarded as a contract in December 2018, and expired in August 2019.
Mr. Yaqub Koray indicated that the contractor requested more time although the GHA was evaluating other alternatives stating, by the end of the following week, a decision would be arrived at.
He assured the campaigners that a temporary measure of covering/filling the expansion joints with bitumen would take place from Tuesday, October 1 to Thursday, October 10, 2019.
Dr. Archibald Letsa entreated the leaders to embark on an education drive of motorcycle users in the area on the need to be extra careful when using the bridge to forestall further accidents.
Meanwhile, the organisers told Voltaonlinegh that “if the agreement to fix the bridge on the said date is breached, we will communicate to you our next line of action which will definitely be the March.”