Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

By Charles Lotara

The Juba Bridge has never been at a critical state than it is currently. Day in and day out, motor vans, motorcycles and heavy tracks queue up as they wait for their turn to crossover using the one functional lane. This alarming situation has caused an unprecedented traffic congestion and disorganization on the route leading to the bridge. This seemingly forgotten phenomenon is also posing an enormous risk to pedestrians, who navigate around motorbikes trying to find their way through using the narrow strip meant for walking. The responsible authority and the Ministry of Transport, Roads and Bridges in particular must provide an adequate and longtime solution to this traffic concern, which is adding more hurdles to the work of the men in white and navy blue uniform.  It has been days since the work on the other lane of the bridge commenced. However, it is unclear whether the speed, progress, and effectiveness of this work is assessed. The responsible authority must also take into account that using one lane of the bridge on the basis that the other side is under a fix does not solve this prevailing calamity but rather worsens it. Firstly, as the weak side of the bridge undergoes a repair, the functional side is being used exhaustively by heavy vehicles and all forms of transport. This will result into that lane experiencing a similar fault. Secondly, the life of travelers is at risk as the single lane might collapse anytime. The bridge depicts the image of the nation, seeing such a disorganization on the bridge by visitors sends a bad message about the state of the country. Unless the government is banking on the Freedom Bridging, which is awaiting completion, not just one lane, but the entire faulty Juba Bridge jeopardizing the business of motor operators needs tremendous and urgent attention.

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