Joshob Construction Company Limited, the firm which was contracted to rebuild the over fifty-year-old Oterkpolu bridge that was abandoned by same are back to site to finish up what they started.
After several calls and public interviews with authorities in Yilo, Lower Manya Krobo municipalities and Upper Manya Krobo District prior to the 2023 budget presentation last year, the assurances seem to manifest as work is ongoing at the Popon river to complete the bridge.
The bridge which links Upper Manya Krobo to ‘outer’ Eastern, Volta and Greater Accra Regions, has been a bother for many; mainly residents and businesses that run between Yilo, Upper and Lower Manya Krobo and other surrounding areas is noted to be the main link bridge that enables commuters to cross the Popon river.
A team from Trust FM visited the site on Thursday following a tip off that engineers are on site working tirelessly to finish the bridge which was supposed to be ready by September 2022.
Speaking to the site surveyor who introduced himself as Eric, about why the bridge was abandoned after they had started building some of the base pillars, he noted that it was because they were anticipating rains coming to destroy their concrete works; but upon further push by the host of the Agoo Ghana Show, Omanba Kojo Baofo, the engineer said he wasn’t in a position to speak for the contractor.
The contract was awarded together with ten other bridges in the country including the Okwenya bridge near Akuse in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality, but the later has been long completed and in use as they were all awarded at the same period and were expected to be completed at the same time.
Upper Manya Krobo is a major contributor of food to both the national and eastern regional food baskets because the main occupation of the people is farming and other agriculture activities.
The river Popon, even though flows from the Yilo Krobo Municipality, the bridge was purposely constructed to serve mainly commuters that travel to Upper Manya Krobo which was carved from the Manya Krobo constituency in 2008.
The bridge was awarded a contract in 2021 to effect from March, by the Akuffo-Addo led government to replace the old one which was built in the Nkrumah days that had become a death trap.
Agitations from users of the bridge including the assembly member and some residents of the area through Trust FM mounted a lot of pressure on authorities who in turn held several meetings with the engineers and other stakeholders.
The 18 calendar month project was expected to have been completed in September 2022.