Residents In Panic As Enugu Bridge Collapses

Fawaz Adebisi

Residents of Enugu were gripped by panic as a critical bridge along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway, connecting the New Artisan flyover and the NNPC Mega Station, collapsed on Monday.

The incident took place at Naira Triangle and Goshen Flyover near New Artisan Market in Enugu’s state capital around noon, according to eyewitnesses.

Remarkably, there were no casualties, attributed to the reduced traffic caused by a Monday sit-at-home protest in the state.

It was observed that a small lorry carrying goods was stranded on the bridge during the collapse, suffering damage

Responding to this, security agencies swiftly closed the remaining lane of the Enugu – Port Harcourt dual-carriageway.

This unexpected development caused significant traffic congestion within the city, forcing motorists to reroute via Nza Street through New Haven or Ogui Road to reach their destinations.

One resident, Gimba Abdul, expressed frustration, blaming the collapse on long-term neglect.

He revealed that residents had repeatedly appealed to the government for repairs, but no action was taken.

Various authorities, including security operatives, officials from the Federal and Enugu State Ministries of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), were present at the scene to assess the situation and assist road users on alternative routes.

Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu state, who also visited the site, called for a new road maintenance model to ensure the longevity and better condition of Nigerian roads.

He suggested considering the concession of federal roads in each state to state governments in partnership with the private sector.

“The bridge collapse didn’t just happen. These threats could have been identified if we had routine or regular maintenance.

“Perhaps the way to go is to find a way to concession these roads to the states. The states need to take charge of the roads within their domains and there has to be a conversation around the funding models”.

In response to the incident, the Enugu State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Gerald Otiji, advised commuters to use alternative routes such as Nza Street through New Haven or Ogui Road and Abakaliki Road while measures for immediate bridge repair were devised.

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