South Sudan NEWS PORTAL (JUBA CITY)
One lane of Juba Bridge has been closed over damage on parts of the superstructures holding the bridge.
The damage is on the span which directly receives the live load, according to South Sudan Roads Authority.
In September, the Minister of Roads and Bridges banned heavy trucks carrying sand and aggregate from crossing the bridge but the order was largely disregarded.
This follows a warning in August by an engineer that the bridge was nearing collapse.
The Authority said the move is a precautionary measure to prevent further damage on the bridge, which has been used for over 45 years.
“During routine check on Friday by engineers of the South Sudan Roads Authority, they found out one of the superstructures holding the bridge has broken down,” Simon Mijok Mijak, the Minister of Roads and Bridges said on Saturday.
“So they gave advise that if intervention is not made immediately, it may affect the other superstructures and it may damage the whole bridge.”
The minister ordered that inbound lane (from Gumbo) be restricted only for pedestrians until the intervention is made.
However, the director of South Sudan Roads Authority called for patience as it may take more than expected to fix the damage.
“It is going to take us some time to secure the money then send there and the manufacturer fills the order, then manufactures, and then we have to ship it here, so it is going to take some time,”Kenyatta Warile said.
Juba Bridge was constructed in 1972 and it underwent some repairs in 2008.
It stands as the only bridge across the Nile in all South Sudan, at least until the completion of the Freedom Bridge.
According to a construction company, reconstruction work on the Juba Bridge alone requires $4 million.
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