Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Minister for Roads and Highways has called on the security and law enforcement agencies to be vigilant and deal with thieves going round the country and dismembering parts of metal bridges.
These criminals, he said, have made bolts and nuts of the bridges their particular targets.
“My Ministry is experiencing this throughout the country, indiscipline people, criminals are round and dismembering some parts of metal bridges particularly the bolts and nuts,” the Minister said, and appealed to the public to assist the security agencies to help tackle the problem.
Mr Amoako-Atta made the call on the floor of Parliament in Accra, on Tuesday, as he responded to a question by Ms Rita Naa Odoley Sowah, Member of Parliament (MP) for La Dade Kotopon, on what plans the Ministry has, to complete the reconstruction works on the Kpeshie Lagoon – Beach Road Bridge.
Ms Sowah, in a supplementary question, drew the attention of the Minister, to an illegal activity of criminals removing of bolts and nuts from the bridge, a metal one, and consequently making it weak and posing danger to commuters.
Mr Amoako-Atta cited a collapse of a metal bridge in Garu Tempane in the Upper East Region as a result some people going to remove the bolts and nuts the previous night, making it weak.
“That long span strong bridge collapsed when an articulator truck went on it…not because the bridge was weak,” the Minister said.
He cited a similar instance last year on the Adomi Bridge, and complained that some people have gone to remove the bolts and nuts but luckily the problem was detected on time and had to take the mobile bridge maintenance team five hours to repair, at inconvenience to road users.
Mr Amoako-Atta also explained that the maintenance of the Kpeshie Lagoon – Beach Road Bridge was a variation to an ongoing project titled: “Repair to damage bridge in Greater Accra Metropolis Area-Kpeshie South Bridge.”
He said the project was awarded on 13th September, 2012 for completion on 30th September, 2015 which has since elapsed.
He said the project commenced on 1st February, 2013, however, the contractor raised the last certificate for payment on 31st March, 2015 and has since abandoned the site.
Mr Amoako-Atta also stated that the previous contract had been determined and the outstanding works have been repackaged for execution as part of an ongoing contract titled “La Beach Road Completion Project, Phase 1 (Tema Road: Independence Arch to Nungua Barrier- 16km)”.
He indicated the current state of the bridge was not posing any danger to traffic as a by-pass bridge had been constructed and in use.
He said the contractor is on-site and would be directed to prioritize the construction of the bridge.