The ever busy Minna-Bida highway in Niger state has been cut off following three days of heavy down poor, leaving commuters stranded for two days running.
The road had been temporarily closed to traffic following the collapse of a bridge major bridge on the road.
The road which has been begging for attention over the years finally caved in on Friday night after a trailer carrying container fell into the bridge, making the road impassable for motorists plying the road.
This is the second time in three years that the road will be closed to traffic following the collapsed of the same bridged as a result of a heavy downpour.
Most affected are commuters traveling to and from the south west part if the country.
Our correspondent who visited the scene of the collapse bridge on Monday, observed that while a bush pat has been created for smaller vehicles by the villagers with motorists paying stipends for their efforts, heavy duty trucks like Trailers and Tankers have been diverted to alternative routes.
All vehicles coming from Abuja and traveling along the road are now being made to follow Lambata – Lapai – Agaie – Bida enroute Mokwa -Jebba road.
Consequently, all Vehicles coming from Bida having directed to take Agaie -Lapai enroute Minna or Lambata as the case may be, While vehicles taking off from Minna to South West are advised to follow Paiko – Lapai -Agaie -Bida enroute Mokwa.
The collapse of the bridge is coming barely two days after the official of the state government visited the bad portion of the road where they appealed to the federal government for assistance towards fixing the road.
Speaking to Journalists after on-the-spot inspection of some failed section of the road, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructural Development, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Balarabe said the road has outlived its lifespan and needed to be totally reconstructed.
According to him, while the state government is spending huge resources annually to manage the road, there was the urgent need for the Federal Government to assist the state government for urgent intervention.
The Permanent Secretary said apart from the Minna-Bida road which is state road, other federal roads in the state are in a state of dilapidation, requiring urgent attention.
He identified some of the Federal roads that needed urgent attention to include: the Minna – Suleja road; Lambata – Lapai – Agaie – Bida road; Mokwa – Bokani – Tegina road; Minna – Kataeregi – Bida road as well as the Tegina – Kagara – Pandogari road.
Alhaji Sadiq Balarabe explained that, while some section of the roads failed yearly due to excessive rainfall, heavy-duty trucks, Tankers and Trailers that ply these roads are the major problem.
He said, since the heavy-duty trucks are “a necessary evil” that cannot be totally stopped from plying the roads, “it becomes necessary for the Federal Government to either find alternative route for them or compel them to carry the required haulage”.
“We are confronted with a situation where a heavy-duty trucks that are supposed to carry about 30 – 40 tons ply our roads with more than double the required tonnes. This is the reason our roads don’t last”‘ he lamented.