Suddenly the near serenity of the Enugu/Onitsha Old Road has been disturbed by the increasingly heavy traffic on it lately. This has seen many heavy duty vehicles taking to that route, often causing traffic gridlock to the chagrin of other road users and people doing business along the road. The sudden increase in the number of vehicular traffic is because of the worsening condition of portions of the Enugu/Onitsha Express Road which has been seemingly abandoned by the Federal Government.
The attendant recourse by commercial vehicle drivers and other motorists to the old road is fraught with the danger of applying too much pressure on the road which could shorten its durability.
The Enugu/Onitsha Old Road is a state road which has existed even before the Nigeria Civil War. It was recently rebuilt by the previous regime of Peter Obi after years of neglect. The present government came on board and further added to its aesthetics by installing solar lights and gantries, as well as marking the road. All this has made the road beautiful.
But unfortunately, the recent gains witnessed on that road appear set to be lost with the heavy traffic plying the road. It is a known fact that too much pressure on any road shortens its life span and quickens its dilapidation, especially when heavy duty vehicles ply such roads.
The Enugu/Onitsha Old Road is currently being overused and this is cause for concern.
This is why we want to appeal to the Anambra State government to do something now before the only good major road we have goes the way of the one at the express.
One sure way of doing this is to do remedial work on the failed portions of the express road with the permission of the federal government that owns the express road. Although the money spent by the previous regime in repairing some federal roads in the state is yet to be reimbursed to the state by the federal government, we still urge the Anambra State government to, at least do remedial work on the failed portions of the federal road, especially at the Umunya axis.
It is because of the terrible condition of that stretch of federal road that the old road is witnessing increased flow of traffic. Waiting for the federal government to come to our rescue will only amount to losing the other road we have which will be a double jeopardy.
This is why we implore the state government to do something now before it is too late, despite the lean resource base of the state. The need to repair sections of the damaged federal road far outweighs any argument for ignoring it; for after all, it is mostly our people that also use the road.
Since the state government will be forced to act if and when the old road deteriorates, it goes without saying that doing it now will save the state money.