By Chukwuemeka Opara
Abakaliki – The Ebonyi Government says it will donate the Bailey Bridges in the state to the communities in which
they are situated to ease free movement of people and goods.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Sen. Emmanuel Onwe, made the disclosure when spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abakaliki.
The Bailey bridge is a type of portable, pre-fabricated, truss bridge. It was developed by the British during World War II for military use and saw extensive use by British, Canadian and U.S. military engineering units.
Onwe said that the government had considered outright sale of the bridges but that the state Executive Council decided that the bridges built by the colonial administration should be donated to the communities where they are situated.
“This decision, especially concerns communities which would want make use of them or transfer them to different locations and
“The communities that have no use for them should simply indicate for the council to take a different decision on the matter,’’ he said.
The commissioner noted that issues concerning the bridges must be understood before drawing conclusions, especially the issue of duration.
“Those saying the bridges are too old should understand that the governor, who is a renowned engineer, had said that the steel costs about N100 million currently.
“Those who understand engineering will appreciate what this means as the colonial administration that constructed them were not fools.
“They wanted to invest in something that would endure, akin to the bridges, the governor is constructing across the state presently,’’ he
He said one of the bridge in his community, which was repaired 12 years ago, was constructed in 1947.
“Wood is just needed to be fixed across the bridge to erase the issue of dilapidation as the bridges are meant to be utility-friendly.
“We are talking about rural areas where planks are used to cross many creeks and bridges.
“The governor’s decision to recycle these infrastructure will definitely be wonderful,’’ he said.