Bridge Linking two Southeastern Counties, A ‘Death Trap’

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Bridge connecting River Gee and Grand Kru counties was constructed in the 70s.

‘Vehicles cannot pass’

The only bridge linking River Gee and Grand Kru counties has been described a “death trap,” by  River Gee County Superintendent Philip Q. Nyenuh. He is therefore appealing to the government to conduct repairs on the the bridge, which is still being used, especially by travelers and business people traveling between the two counties.

Supt. Nyenuh, who made the disclosure in an interview with the Daily Observer recently in Zwedru, said the bridge is one of the key linkages between the two counties, but said its present condition is a major safety hazard.

The bridge is located near the gold mining area of Jaquiken Town, Nyenwiken Administrative District, on the road leading to Grand Kru County, south of the county’s provincial capital, Fish Town.

Supt. Nyenuh described the bridge as very cardinal to the movement and development of both counties, and the region at large, but if nothing is done until the rainy season, it will certainly collapse, causing hardship in the region.

“Now, heavy-duty vehicles with goods cannot cross over the bridge, because it is tilting and sinking gradually,” he said.

The bridge was constructed during the 1970s, “but residents of Jouqiken Community, have been calling for help to repair it since we discovered that it was declining. But no attention has been paid to us up to now,” a resident of Jaquiken told the Daily Observer.

Ophelia Weedee, a local business woman, who was traveling to Forpoh Parluken, Grand Kru County, told Radio Smile FM in Zwedru that the situation is disturbing the business people, because they have to offload their goods to crossing and board another vehicle at the other end before reaching their destinations.

“We continue to risk our lives on a daily basis just to sustain our families,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Grand Kru based Southeastern Motorcycle Union advisor, Matthew Brooks, has over the weekend, complained about several challenges in Grand Kru, which some have resulted to the death of two other persons (not named).

However, Supt Nyenuh and the people of the county have appealed to the government, and any well meaning organizations to urgently assist them to reconstruct the bridge.

Ganta-Zwedru road deteriorating

In a similar development, reports say the highway between Ganta, in Nimba County and Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, is fast deteriorating due to recent down pour that have delayed vehicular movements.

Residents of Zwedru have meanwhile expressed concern over the deplorable road condition. They want government to immediately intervene to keep the road pliable, at least until the rainy season begins.

“I am greatly worried about the road condition, because if it is not reconditioned, things will be too hard for us,” said Helen Dweh, a resident of Zwedru.

“Now we are buying a bag of 25kg rice for L$2,600 and a gallon of gas for L$600. If the rainy season starts, and the roads become impassable, prices of basic goods and services will go up high again,” said one Melvin, a motorcyclist.

Up to present, the Ganta/Zwedru road has not been rehabilitated such that it has developed deep potholes and ditches, especially between Saclepea and Toe Town in Grand Gedeh County.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The fate of this bridge exemplifies exactly what is wrong with the way in which we derive and underwrite the cost of these infrastructures and our entire governmental system. We have a bunch of “experts” that sit at the MFDP and formulate the budgets for our counties or national the entire country without the direct input of those counties. Thereafter they extrapolate and based on past examples how much to allocate to each county.

    Is that how budgets are derived in the first place? Shouldn’t it be the other way around, wherein citizens have the opportunity to identify the projects, infrastructures, goals, etc., that they want to accomplish within their localities and within the scope of available resources in a given fiscal year?

    Where that the case this bridge as well as other crumbling infrastructures all over the country, would have surely been identified as needing retrofitting way before they became a safety hazard as this bridge.

    In the wisdom of that expert group, a paltry $200,000 is supposed to cater to the development needs for each county? $200,000 dollars? When you factor in the grafts and pilfering associated with the dispensation of those trifling amounts, then you can understand how and why this bridge and others neglected infrastructures around the country became as desolate.

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