From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A link bridge across the Eru Creek in the Isoko area of Delta State has caved in, cutting out Uzere, an oil-rich community, from other parts of the state.
The bridge which is along Uzere/Asaba-Ase federal road collapsed Monday morning, according to local folks.
Apart from Uzere, the second place where oil was found in Nigeria after Oloibiri, and Asaba-Ase communities, people from Abari in Patani Local Government Area, and Canaan, Abueto, Trofani amongst others in Bayelsa State would have to meander through the longer Irri-Aviara-Uzere road to access their homes for now.
As a result, transport fares within the communities in the area have increased.
From Oleh to Uzere by motorbike had gone to N600 as against the normal N300 while Oleh to Asaba-Ase has shot up to N800 from N500.
A community leader, Jones Agbaka, lamented the situation, describing it as a serious calamity to the thousands of road users.
Agbaka called on the Federal Government and the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to quickly mobilise to address the situation.
Solomon Enwenede, one of the early callers at the scene, wondered why no attempt was made by the Federal Controller of Works in the state to do mandatory safety checks on the bridge to avoid the collapse.
The bridge which was built by Julius Berger construction company about forty years ago is on the major federal expressway to Uzere and terminates at the bank of the River Niger at Asaba-Ase, an agrarian community in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state.