MOTORISTS and commuters plying the Ibadan-IfeIlesa dual carriageway have expressed worry over the deplorable condition of the road and the Asejire Bridge.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the bridge links the boundary communities of Oyo and Osun states.
NAN gathered that motorists, in the last one month, have been spending hours on the road each time there was an accident or breakdown of articulated vehicles on the bridge. It was also gathered that many portions of the road had been cut off, forcing motorists to be plying one side of the dual carriageway.
A visit to Asejire Bridge by NAN on Wednesday showed the exit portion of the dual carriageway from Oyo State, called for urgent repair to prevent further loss of lives and property. It was gathered that apart from the visible structural defect noticeable on the bridge embankment, the floor of the bridge was full of cracks and potholes, which made smooth vehicular movement difficult.
NAN observed that some roadside auto mechanics and vulcanisers were using the opportunity of the bad state of the bridge and road to make brisk business.
One of the drivers, Olubunmi Lana, expressed sadness over the deplorable condition of the road, especially the terrible condition of the bridge.
Describing the situation as pathetic, Lana said he had flat tyre when one of his vehicle’s tyres got stuck on the bad portion of the bridge. Also, another driver, Isiaka Olanrenwaju, said the balljoint of his bus got spoilt because he drove fast on the bridge.
Olanrenwaju said he would not be able to continue his journey to Owo town in Ondo State until the mechanic fixed the damaged ball-joint.
A passenger, Mrs Funmilayo Solarin, decried the pains motorists and passengers plying the road are experiencing on daily basis. Solarin expressed fear over the vibration of the bridge, which she attributed to the likely defect of the bridge’s pillars.
She called on the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and other relevant agencies of government to act fast and fix bad portions of the road and the bridge. When contacted, the zonal coordinator of FERMA, Mrs Mary Adeniran, said her agency was much aware of the condition of the entire stretch of the road from Ibadan to Ilesa.
Adeniran said the road was under a major maintenance contract “which is being managed by the Federal Ministry of Works.
“I have spoken with the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo, Mr Kayode Ibrahim, on a number occasions as regard the state of the road and he reassured me that the contractor handling the road is working behind the scene to be fully mobilised to the site.
“He said that the contractor is currently preparing some pre-fabrication elements. “So, we are hoping that very soon work will commence on the road,” she said.
Also, the Controller of Works in Oyo State, Mr Kayode Ibrahim, reassured motorists and the general public that the contractor would soon start work on the entire stretch of the IbadanIlesa road.