The Liberian Government through the Internal Affairs Ministry (MIA) in consultation with the Ministry of Public Work has ordered temporary closure of the Lofa River Bridge between Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties from vehicular traffic due to its deplorable condition.
The Lofa River Bridge connects Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount Counties in Western Liberia.
The decision was announced on Thursday, February 27, when Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly paid an emergency visit to the area along with Public Works Minister, Dr. Antoinette Weeks.
The visit was triggered by reports that a group of women from both counties, living in the Lofa River Bridge community expressed anger over its deteriorating condition and set up road-blocks preventing vehicles from crossing.
In response to their action, Minister Dukuly said, “The halt of vehicle movement on the bridge will remain enforced until a decision is made by the government of Liberia.”
The aggrieved women told the visiting team that their protest action was intended to draw the immediate attention of central government because the bridge was becoming risky for them and their school-going children to cross on a daily basis.
The Chairlady of the community and leader of the protesting women, Madam Massa Gorla said “The pillars that hold up the bridge are cracking, while planks on the surface are broken up.”
Minister Dukuly described the bridge as a ‘death trap’, while Public Works Minister Weeks called the condition ‘poor’.
Minister Weeks and a team of engineers were seen carrying out an assessment on the bridge, which, according to her, was the beginning of prompt action to be taken.
Minister Weeks promised to work with the people of the Lofa River Bridge community to make sure that a sustainable solution is achieved and the bridge is properly and safely repaired.