Ghana, a nation renowned for its rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty, is facing a growing concern - the deteriorating state of its vital infrastructure.
One prominent example of this issue is the Ankobra Bridge, a critical link connecting communities and commerce, which now stands as a symbol of neglect and decay.
The bridge, located in the Nzema East in the Western Region of Ghana, has long been a lifeline for locals and a vital artery for trade and transportation, the Trans–West African Coastal Highway freighting heavy goods from Ghana to sister countries in the western corridors of Africa.
However, the once-sturdy structure is now marred by rusting pillars, treacherous potholes, torn railings, and a visibly tilted pillar, prompting questions about the region's commitment to infrastructure maintenance and development.
A Bridge in Decline
The Ankobra Bridge, which spans the picturesque Ankobra River, was once a testament to engineering prowess and a symbol of hope for the communities it served. However, over the years, it has slowly succumbed to the harsh realities of tropical weather, insufficient maintenance, and increased traffic loads. The signs of decay are evident, and they demand immediate attention.
1. Rusting Pillars: The bridge's pillars, which are meant to support the entire structure, are now coated in a thick layer of rust. This corrosion is a serious safety concern. The weakened pillars could compromise the structural integrity of the bridge, putting the lives of those who use it at risk.
2. Potholed Road: The road surface on the bridge is riddled with potholes, making it a hazardous crossing for vehicles and pedestrians alike. These potholes may damage vehicles and also contribute to traffic congestion and accidents, further hampering the flow of goods and people.
3. Torn Railings: A closer look at the bridge's side railings reveals a sorry state of affairs. Large railing sections have been torn off, leaving a dangerous gap where anyone, especially children, could easily fall into the river below. This poses a significant safety hazard to all who cross the bridge.
4. Visibly Tilted Pillar: Perhaps the most alarming issue is the visibly tilted pillar on the bridge. This tilt raises concerns about the structural stability of the entire bridge and its ability to withstand the daily traffic demands.
The Urgent Need for Rehabilitation
The Ankobra Bridge's deteriorating condition is not just a local issue but a reflection of broader infrastructure challenges faced by Ghana.
It underscores the need for a comprehensive and proactive infrastructure maintenance and development approach.
NB: A broken-down vehicle near the Police barrier needs to be removed from the bridge.