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Commuters stranded as road collapses

16 February 2013, 16:25

Uyo - Hundreds of commuters were stranded in Uyo on Saturday following the collapse of an underground drainage crossing in Uyo-Oron Road leading to Ibom Airport in Akwa Ibom.

The road, which caved in after a downpour on Friday, caused traffic diversion.

Consequently, many intra-city route commuters had to walk home, while inter-city travellers paid more for their journeys because of the diversion.

A  welder, Mr Bernard Joe, told  the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)  that the collapse might have occurred because of  poor construction.

Bernard, who claimed to be an experienced construction worker, further alleged that the culvert crossing the road was hurriedly done in the night.

“This culvert was not part of the road when Gitto Construction Company did Oron road leading to Ibom Airport.

“The culvert was built by Raycon Construction Company. They used one night to build this culvert; they did not allow the soil to settle before the culvert was built.

“We woke up one morning to discover that the drainage work here was already completed,” Joe said.

He said that the structure was not firm, hence the volume of water coming from Osongama axis, weakened the foundation of the drainage and caused the road to collapse.

In his response, the Supervisory Engineer for Raycon Construction Company, Mr John Bassey, denied the allegation of shoddy work.

Bassey said that the work was on-going and added that the underground drainage collapsed because work was still in progress when the rain fell.

“As you are aware, the drainage runs from Osongama axis of town and discharges the water in a reservoir behind Tropicana.

“We were working here yesterday and did not expect the rain. When the rain came, it entered the old culvert and it sank. It is not the new culvert we built.

“Since the job is ongoing, it is not abnormal for this collapse to happen,” Bassey explained.

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