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Commuters stranded as bridge collapses in Enugu

Tragedy was averted on Monday as a bridge along the Enugu-Port Harcourt Federal Highway at the New Artisan Market in the Enugu State capital collapsed.

The incident occurred in the morning when a truck conveying Nigerian Breweries products and an unidentified lorry were on the bridge.

No life was lost during the incident as emergency responders were on the ground to ensure that no unsuspecting vehicle plunged into the water.

The bridge collapse has left commuters stranded as traffic has to be diverted inside the state capital to avoid the area where the bridge collapsed.

Eyewitnesses thanked God that the incident happened when there was no heavy traffic on the ever busy road.

According to one of the eyewitnesses, Emeka Olisa, it would have been “a major tragedy if this happened in the evening time.”

Meanwhile, the Enugu State Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Gerald Otiji, has advised motorists to divert to Nza through New Haven or Ogui Road to their various destinations.

Otiji said, “The general public and road users are hereby advised to detour to Nza through New Haven, or Ogui Road to their various destinations, while the authorities are coming up with measures for immediate repair on the failed section.”

In a related development, the state Governor, Peter Mbah, has called on the Federal Government to consider a concession of the federal roads to states and private sectors for proper maintenance.

The governor explained that the current model of road maintenance across the country would not guarantee a better condition and longevity of Nigerian roads.

Mbah, spoke on Monday, while inspecting a bridge that collapsed along the Enugu-Port Harcourt federal highway.

Regretting that the current model of maintenance had failed woefully, the governor Mbah thanked God that no life was lost despite the magnitude of the incident while addressing journalists.

 “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 domain and there has to be a conversation around the funding models.”

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