Buipe bridge maintenance extended to March 15
Completion of maintenance works on the 11.4m width Buipe bridge, which is on the Black Volta in the Central Gonja District of the Northern Region, has been extended to March 15, 2017.
The maintenance works, which involve repairing metal joints and broken slabs to make the bridge strong, were expected to have been completed by March 8, 2017.
The Ghana Highway Authority, earlier announced a 20-day closure of the Bridge, which started from Friday, February 17, 2017 and was supposed to end on Wednesday, March 8,2017.
But the authority has said worked has not progressed as fast as earlier anticipated and that work is 85percent complete.
The repair works are being undertaken at a cost of GHS 499,000.00, and only vehicles weighing up 20 tons are allowed to cross during the emergency repair works period, from 2pm to 6am.
The Buipe Bridge, constructed to last for 50 years, is now in its 54th year, and has, therefore, suffered a lot of distress, resulting in weak metal joints and broken slabs requiring emergency maintenance.
The Buipe Bridge facilitates movement of goods and people to and from the northern parts of the country, and it is also located on the international transit corridor, which serves the country and her landlocked neighbours.
The blockade has affected the movement of vehicles and humans because any vehicle that gets to the bridge after the given time has to wait until 6am the following day. The long queue that results means that some vehicles are unable to cross until after 9am.
It has become a big blow to productivity hours would have to be spent in traveling on the alternative routes provided.
But the roads ministry said the works were necessary to ensure structural integrity of the bridge, protect lives and property and therefore appealed for cooperation.
Per the new arrangement, travelers from South towards Tamale are to pass Techiman through Wenchi and Sawla to Fufulso junction and to Tamale, and travelers from Tamale are to use Fufulso junction and to Techiman.
Passengers whose commercial vehicles use the normal route and are in hurry had to resort to the taking of motorbike to cross the bridge, at a cost of GH5.00 and then take another vehicle from the town at GH13.00.
Speaking to the B&FT as a follow up, Mr Enam Amuzu, Project supervisor of the Maintenance unit of the Ghana High Authority, explained that the extension of the completion date would not result in any extra costs because the equipment needed have been bought.
According to him, the delay of the work was as a result of the shortage of the equipment, although full funding for the project had been made.
He stressed the maintenance was a temporal thing since the bridge needed a complete replacement due to the life span.
He said there is the need to check the axle load of the big trucks plying it, adding that the pressure on the bridge was as a result of the over loading of vehicles which affect the strength of the metals.
The project supervisors called for the enforcement of the high way law to prevent vehicles from overloading and exerting undue pressure on the bridge.