Residents of Isuaniocha and Mgbakwu on Tuesday began patch works on Obibia Bridge, linking Awka South Local Government Area through Okpuno to Awka North Local Government Area.
The bridge also serves as a link from other communities such as Amanuke, Urum and parts of Achala all in Awka North to the state capital.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that some of the reinforcement rods on the bridge have been unearthed with mild potholes.
Speaking on the bridge, Frank Mkpume, the President-General of Isuaniocha Town Union, said that the communities had mobilised to rehabilitate the bridge which was strategic to them and save it from possible collapse.
Mr Mkpume, who described the area as a provider of houses to a large number of workers in Awka, stressed the need for the state government to intervene as the patch works might provide only a temporary solution to the problem.
“This palliative is from the efforts of people and residents of Isuaniocha and Mgbakwu communities.
“We have done it in the past but it was not good enough but we have come back to do a more formidable job.
“This time we will use chippings, sharp sand and cement to protect this bridge so that the reinforcement rods can be covered and that the flood water can flow out without gathering to cause further damage.
“Isuaniocha is the gateway into Awka North where a large population of people working in Awka, Federal establishments and state higher institutions of learning reside, but there is no road leading to these places.
“I am speaking with pain in my heart because we are also part of the state capital territory but it appears Awka is abandoned.
“We need government’s intervention for sustainable repairs,” he said.
Also, Jaja Nwanegbo, a resident of the area, said the residents had been passing through difficult times using the bridge because of its deplorable state.
Mr Nwanegbo expressed fear that the people living in the area might not be able to access their homes if the government did not intervene soon.
“Government officials have to make up their mind on what they want to do to this bridge.
“It is in bad shape and the traffic during peak hours is something else, we are afraid that we may not be able to access our homes if it collapses.
“They must find a way to channel water away from the bridge,” he said.
Contributing, a tricycle operator, Jonathan Adams, said they were spending so much on repairs as the bad section caused serious damage to their vehicles.
Mr Adams lauded the communities for the timely efforts, saying that it will go a long way to ameliorate their plight.
Reacting to the development, Commissioner for Works in Anambra, Marcel Ifejiofor, said the government was aware of the condition of the bridge but added that it was not as endangered as people were painting the picture.
Mr Ifejiofor said a team of engineers had inspected the bridge and concluded that the integrity was still intact.
He gave an assurance that the government would carry out repair works on the bridge at the end of the rainy season.
“We will work on that bridge as soon as the rains are over but the bridge is not as bad as people think, our engineers have been there,” he said.
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