. . . Anambra Govt Promises Immediate Intervention
By Ifeoma Ezenyilimba
Pedestrians using the pedestrian bridge at MCC Junction, Onitsha, Anambra State and road users of MCC-Upper Iweka-Head Bridge axis of the Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, are currently in fear over the precarious condition of the pedestrian bridge.
Fides gathered from people at the MCC axis that the pedestrian bridge was forced out from its connecting point after it was recently hit by an overloaded articulated vehicle. Users have described the bridge as a death trap to both the pedestrians and vehicles that ply the major expressway. They are therefore calling on the Anambra State Government to urgently fix the bridge to avoid a looming disaster.
According to eyewitnesses, the same fate befell the bridge in 2017 after it was hit by an overloaded trailer but the state government had quickly rectified the damage. This is even as they condemned the action of reckless drivers.
A businessman who has his shop at the MCC junction (who does not want his name on print), when contacted by Fides, feared that if an articulated vehicle hit the bridge again, judging by its poor condition, the pedestrian bridge might collapse. He called on the Anambra State Government to urgently fix the bridge so as to save the road users from possible mishap.
According to the businessman, ‘The pedestrian bridge is the only one that connects Awada and MCC. Users are taking the risk in making use of it despite its current bad state because it is their only possible means of crossing the major expressway’.
Meanwhile the Anambra State Government has promised to quickly fix the pedestrian bridge.
Speaking when he made a visit to inspect the level of damage on the MCC Bridge, September 13, the Anambra State Commissioner for Works, Engineer Marcel Ifejiofor, assured that the government would give urgent attention to the bridge.
Engineer Ifejiofor wondered why articulated vehicle drivers would overload their vehicles to the extent that they would shift and crack such heavy weight beams. He warned those involved in such act to desist forth with, else the government would be forced to take drastic action against them.
Commissioner Ifejiofor said that the contractor would move in to fix the bridge, even though he believed it did not pose immediate danger.
For his part, the Federal Controller of Works in Anambra State, Mr. Adeyemu Ajayi, said the height of the bridge conformed to the approved over head space of five point-two meters and wondered why drivers of such trailers would be so reckless as to load their vehicles above the height.
The Commissioner was accompanied on the visit by the Managing Director, Anambra State Road Maintenance Agency, Engineer Emeka Okoye; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Mr. Emeka Ohuoha; other directors of the ministry, as well as the contractor that handled the project.
As at the time of filing this report, the state government was yet to intervene on the pedestrian bridge.