About a week after the collapse of the Olodo Bank Bridge due to flooding, the Oyo State government has opened an alternative route in the axis, appealing to road users not to hinder the flow of traffic on the new route.
The Commissioner for Works, Public Infrastructure and Transport, Daud Kehinde Shangodoyin, who visited the 2.5 kilometer Oki Junction-Olodo Bank Road fixed by the government as an alternative route for road users in the axis, said the collapsed bridge would also be fixed in six months.
Shangodoyin was at the site in company of the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Dotun Oyelade and an engineer from the Peculiar Ultimate Concerns, the contractors handling the Ibadan-Iwo-Osogbo Road.
According to him, Governor ‘Seyi Makinde has equally directed that another route from Oki through Kumapayi to Olodo, which is 3.8km, should be fixed as an alternative, saying that the Ministry would embark on that project immediately.
He appealed to road users to manage the alternative infrastructure so as not to cause hardship for other road users, stating that work would begin on the collapsed bridge in a few days.
He said, “You recall that sometimes last year, His Excellency, Governor Makinde and former governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, flagged off a 35.7km road project from Iwo Road Interchange to Odo-Oba to Osogbo.
“Few weeks ago, we also noticed that the bridge along Olodo road would not be able to contain the downpour of rain and we were thinking of having a box culvert there, but because of the volume of the rain, we are changing it to a bridge, which will take some time for us to complete.
“So, we needed to look for the easiest route to reduce the hardship on that road. Now, we have located a road, which is 2.5km from Oki junction to Olodo Bank. What we have done on this road is some repair work because it is an old and abandoned road.
“We have on the road 4m width of bridge, which was constructed during the Western region. We also have two streams in which we have placed steel pipes which are 6m long and 1.2m diameter. We have done some classification and put some stone base so that it will be passable for our people.
“Governor Makinde directed my Ministry to be proactive on it and make sure that the road is open to our people. So, that is why we are here today to say that we have done it and it has become an alternative route for us to be able to start the work from Iwo Road Interchange to Odo-Oba, especially on the bridge. By the grace of God, we are going to start next Monday.
“Also, we have identified another route, Oki-Kumapayi to Olodo, which is 3.8km. We are going to embark on the project so that we can have two alternative routes for our people plying this road.”
The commissioner added that work would start on the collapsed Olodo Bridge in earnest and that it would take about six months for the work to be completed, saying:
“On the collapsed Olodo bridge, as I speak, they have brought some iron steel for us to start the piling of the bridge and, by the grace of God, next Wednesday, we will start working on the piling of the bridge. But it will take six months to be completed because of the technicalities involved in the process. By then, we will be able to open the road tentatively before we finish up the entire 35.7km road.”
Meanwhile, some road users in the axis have commended the state government for the quick intervention on the alternative routes, describing it as a welcome development.
A resident, identified as Segun Ogundele, said, “What I can say for now on this alternative road is that it is okay with us. We appreciate the government and pray that God will reward his government.”
Another resident, Tunde Oyeleke, said: “I want to thank the government for the alternative road because it has been tough for me and my family since last week when the bridge collapsed.
“As a matter of fact, I have been dropping my car on the other side of the road. But with this alternative road, I see it as an opportunity for us to move the way we were moving before.
“Meanwhile, I want to appeal to the government to also help us fast-track the completion of the collapsed bridge.”