Buipe, Yapei bridges were closed to avoid national disaster – Roads and Highways Minister tells Parliament


The Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta says the Buipe and Yapei bridges were closed to avert a national disaster of a total collapse of the bridges.

He said this on the floor of Parliament when he was presenting a statement on the current state of the aforementioned bridges in the Northern region and measures being taken to address the state of the deterioration. This was after Parliament had summoned him to brief the House on the closure of the bridges.

The Minister informed the House that the bridges have served the transportation needs of the country and the people living within the catchment area and beyond for over half a century.

He indicated that within the period, they have been maintained and periodic inspections have revealed the need to replace them as they approach the end of their design life.

He added that even though the bridges have been maintained over the period, observations made during regular inspections of them from the first quarter of this year revealed extensive damage to the reinforced concrete and steel members.

He said increased traffic loads have also resulted in fatigue failures, hence the need for immediate and extensive repair works while steps are being taken for total reconstruction in the long term.

The Minister also stated following reports of the inspections in November this year and briefing from the engineers at the Ministry on the critical state of the bridges, a decision was taken in consultation with Ghana’s Vice President, the Minister for National Security and the Minister for the Interior. He added that since it was a national security issue, the bridges were closed for urgent repairs.

He told Parliament the repair works are being executed by the Ghana Highways Authority. He added that both bridges have therefore been closed to vehicular traffic and to the travelling public with effect from Monday, the 22nd of November, 2017. This was to enable the emergency repair works to be carried out within a period of four weeks. He indicated that the estimated cost of the works is GH¢4 million.

The Minister empathised with the travelling public and motorists for the inconveniences caused. He reiterated that the closure of the bridges at this point in time is critical to avert a national disaster.

He intimated that motorists travelling to and from the Northern region have been advised to use alternative routes which have been announced. He added that they should also adhere to directional and safety signs that have been provided at appropriate sections along the routes.

Source: Ghanajustice/N. Cudjoe



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