The Bayelsa State governor, Douye Diri, has raised the alarm over the damaged Tombia Bridge across the River Nun in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state built by the Federal Government 20 years ago.
Diri said the damage was caused by erosion due to illegal dredging activities that had affected the edges of the bridge and some of the joints resulting in noticeable gaps.
The bridge, which connects communities in Ekpetiama axis, the university town of Amassoma, Igbedi as well as the Bayelsa International Airport, was constructed by the Federal Government during the late Governor Diepriye Alamieyeseigha administration.
The governor, who inspected the damaged portions, yesterday, directed an immediate stoppage of dredging activities on the river, asking the Ministry of Environment to ensure that the directive stopping dredging on the river was carried out to prevent the collapse of the bridge.
He also directed the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to embark on immediate remedial work on the damaged portions.
“This structure is showing visible signs of damage and weakness. The activities of illegal dredgers in the River Nun underneath the bridge have apparently caused the erosion that has affected the bridge.
“This bridge was built during the administration of the late Governor Diepriye Alamieyeseigha almost 20 years ago by the Federal Ministry of Works. We need to draw the Federal Government’s attention to this while we embark on immediate remedial work to prevent its collapse.
“I hereby direct the Commissioner for Environment to ensure stoppage of dredging activities on the river. I also direct the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure to commence immediate remedial work on the bridge to safeguard it for our people that ply this road to Ekpetiama communities, to Amassoma, Igbedi, the Bayelsa Airport and other communities in this axis of the state.”