Concerned citizens of Sogakofe in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region, are planning a massive march this week to have the Lower Volta Bridge fixed.
The residents say the action has become necessary after several appeals to the Ghana Highways Authority to repair the rusting expansion and contraction joints, have yielded no results.
The #FixTheLowerVoltaBridgeNow demonstration scheduled for Thursday, September 26, is part of efforts by the residents to get authorities to correct the defects on the Sogakope Bridge, which they say is getting progressively worse.
At least five persons have died in the last 18 months in crashes on the deteriorating bridge that spans the lower part of the Volta River.
“We are actually doing this in light of the fact that the defects on the bridge have already caused about 5 lives of youths with promising futures which has caused a lot of agitations and concerns amongst the community folks especially those in the immediate proximity of the bridge,” a resident told JoyNews.
The Lower Volta Bridge, also known as Sogakope Bridge constructed between January 1965 and January 1967, is a 650-metre long bridge on the N1 highway (Aflao — Accra) that connects Sogakope to Sokpoe over the Volta River.
District Chief Executive (DCE) for South Tongu, Emmanuel Louise Agamah, in a recent interview, described the bridge as a death trap and needs urgent repairs to save lives.
"This bridge is an important link in the Abijan - Lagos Corridor Road but it is deteriorated now. The expansions have deteriorated. There are pot-holes on the bridge and whenever drivers and motorists try to dodge the potholes, they crash in the process leading to numerous deaths.
“Even this year, five people have lost their lives while several others have sustained injuries on the bridge. The residents are angry and want to demonstrate but we usually have to calm tempers down. I have sent letters on several occasions to Ghana Highways Authority and I have asked questions on when this bridge will be repaired but to no avail," Mr. Agamah told the Ghana News Agency.
The concerned citizens say they have the backing of their leaders to protest the poor condition of the bridge and have notified the police to that effect.
Ahead of the planned March to present a Petition (addressed to the President of the Republic) to the DCE for onward delivery, the group is expected to hold a number of meetings with other interest groups to mobilise support for the Peaceful March.