The impending collapse of Ulakwo bridge

The bridge at Ulakwo in Owerri North LGA, along Owerri-Aba road, popularly called by locals, “Dumez Bridge”, was named after the construction firm that built it -Dumez Construction Company Ltd. It was constructed in 1978 when Aba-Owerri road was done by the federal government. The Owerrri-Aba road was constructed when there were not many vehicles on our roads and so it was only a two-track, soundly built road.
The Aba-Owerri road and the Ulakwo bridge are now 42 years old and the volume of vehicular traffic on them has been monumental, beyond the imagination of those that constructed it then in 1978.
With the increase in traffic in recent times, the federal government had thought it necessary to expand the road so as to accommodate the increase in traffic. This was a welcome development, especially given the importance of that road as the only direct road linking Owerri to Aba, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and indirectly to Port Harcourt, Umuahia, etc.
However, the joy of Imolites and other users of that very important road has been neutralized as the construction equipment of Arab Contractors who were awarded the contract are now nowhere to be seen. They have left the site. The Ulakwo bridge now faces imminent collapse as it is sinking and with many heavy-duty vehicles constantly resting on it due to the traffic gridlock constantly caused by the bad nature of the bridge. It is possible that anything can happen any time.
Edge Express hereby calls on the federal government to urgently ensure that the construction company returns to site before the bridge completely collapses. In the alternative, the Imo State government should intervene to forestall the looming disaster the impending collapse would cause, not only to Imolites but the entire South easterners at large. The volume of business passing along Owerri-Aba road which must use the Ulakwo bridge is unquantifiable. The entire nation derives huge economic benefits from the road, hence the need to see that bridge as a project that affects both the nation and south east states.
We call on Governor Hope Uzodimma to make haste and rescue the Ulakwo bridge. It is a major link road to the entire Ngor Okpala Communities and some others in Owerri North. If the bridge collapses, all the communities linked by it would find it a herculean task to access the state capital. Imo State government can rescue it and get a return from the federal government.
There is no time to subject this bridge to politics. We also call on Governor Uzodimma to speed up work on the Ihiagwa-Obinze road at Futo gate as it serves as vital link between the two communities and others.


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