The Adomi Bridge is to be closed down for a year for rehabilitation works to be carried out on it. As part of the rehabilitation exercise the deck and all hangers of the bridge will be replaced.
A close look will also be taken at the entire foundation of the bridge as part of the rehabilitation works to ensure that the integrity of the structure is guaranteed.
Mr Owusu Sekyere Antwi, the Director of Bridges of the Ghana Highway Authority, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic, stated that the rehabilitation had become necessary following the recommendations of a consultant who had examined the extent of damage to the bridge after some portions of the bridge were repaired in 2008.
Even though he could not give the exact date the project would commence, Mr Antwi stated that the bridge risked collapsing if the rehabilitation work was not done as the “bridge is old and fatigued because of the excessive load.”
“Even though the original design will be maintained, the hangers and the decker will be replaced,” he stated.
This is not the first time the bridge has been scheduled to be closed down albeit not for a whole a year. In 2008 the Ghana Roads and Highways officials had indicated that one of the steel beams supporting the bridge had collapsed, while two others had developed serious cracks, resulting in the slumping of a section of the bridge.
To deal with the situation, weight restrictions were imposed on haulage vehicles and DL Steel of the UK, the company that constructed the bridge called in to help with the repair works.
A consultant was later commissioned to examine the whole bridge.
Currently, vehicles weighing 20 tonnes, according to a Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) signpost mounted at Kpong, are allowed to cross the Adomi Bridge.
According to Mr Antwi, to ensure compliance with the wight directive, security detail and staff of the GHA had been positioned at the bridge.
While advising haulage trucks and other heavy duty truck drivers to comply with the road restrictions, he also urged the security detail and staff of the GHA to ensure that the weight restrictions were respected.
He said when the bridge was closed to traffic, other alternative routes would be considered including the Ho-Adidome-Sogakope road and a ferry to be provided at Senchi for motorists to cross the Volta River.
He said the exact alternative routes would be rehabilitated before the bridge was finally closed to motorists.
Parliament in December last year approved a 12.9 million euros credit from the Uni-credit Bank of Austria to finance the rehabilitation of the Adomi Bridge which links parts of the Eastern Region, Juapong in the North Tongu District, Ho, Hohoe and the Volta North on the east of the Volta Lake to the Greater Accra Region and some parts of the Eastern Region on the western part of the lake.
The Adomi Bridge is one of the most famous and treasured edifices in Ghana, which links the south-eastern part of the country to the Volta and northern regions.
A legacy dating back to the mid 1950s, the Adomi Bridge is, according to the highways authorities, the main means by which an average of 120,000 workers, traders and tourists cross the Volta River daily to and from the eastern corridor and northern regions of Ghana.
Source: Daily Graphic