‘Nobody listened when we raised alarm…’

The collapsed portion of the flyover

The collapsed portion of the flyover

Lamentations over collapse of Nkpor-Onitsha Flyover in Anambra State

RESIDENTS of Onitsha have expressed worry over the collapse of a portion of the recently completed Onitsha –Nkpor Flyover. One lane of the flyover had caved in last week following massive erosion that had eaten up the foot of the bridge.

The development has forced travellers to use one lane of the flyover, thereby causing serious gridlock, just as the several buildings around the area are being threatened.

The Guardian gathered that a heavy down pour lastpenultimate week had created a big gully, which ate up portions of the flyover.

Anxious residents have continued to troop to the area to see for themselves the impact on the road.

It would be recalled that to solve an almost perennial hold upstraffic gridlocks on the new parts and Nkpor main markets located onin the area, Anambra State government and the Federal Government had three years ago partnered to construct the flyover.

But with the collapse of the right lane of the flyover, descending towards the Zik Roundabout, the lane has been blocked with heavy materials to avoid vehicles from running into the big gully created by the erosion, thus causing traffic jam around the area.

From the level of impact created on the road, there is the fear that other portions of the flyover might be affected, should there be more heavy rainfalls.

The collapse of the flyover has also displaced some traders in the area, especially yam sellers, who useddo their business at the foot of the flyover to do their business..

Some of the traders said the flyover had shown signs of collapse long before now, stressing that :“Nobody cared when the alarm was raised. We alerted the government that something was wrong with the flyover, but at every given time, we were ignored. If you watch closely, you will discover that this big gutter was blocked because of the amount of refuse dumped here.”

“People throw refuse into this place. Whenever there is rain, the refuse prevents the flow of water. It is the inability of the water to flow freely that has weakened the foot of the bridge”, Joseph Onuoha, one of the traders, who conducted The Guardian round the place, Joseph Onuoha, said.

According to him, since the completion of the flyover some years ago, no effort has been made to either to clear the refuse or stop further use of the place for dumping of refuse, adding that he was concerned about occupants of some of the nearby buildings.

Mrs. Ngozi Uwa said reconstructing the flyover without adequate check on refuse dumped into the gutter would not solve the problem. She said Governor Willy Obiano, who had also visited the place, was informed during the visit, stressing that the way “this thing happened, I doubt if they are ready to do anything now”.

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