The Kwara State Government in February 2022 announced the closure of the Tanke Tipper Garage Junction for the construction of the General Tunde Idiagbon Bridge and 19 months later, residents, motorists and traders have again lamented the impacts of the road closure.
After weeks of partial access, the roads leading to Tanke, Pipeline, F-division and University Road were totally closed on Wednesday, leaving residents stranded and forcing motorists to look for alternate routes.
Gauging the impacts on the livelihood of the people, Royal FM embarked to the area and in his submission, a tricycle rider noted that they got no notice from the Ministry of Works or the State Government before the latest closure, saying “We got no notice from the government, though we can say that since they had started the work, we’ve gotten the notice”.
“I hope they find a quick solution as passengers no longer come to the bus stop again. They have found other routes and shortcuts, reducing the number of passengers we get”, he added.
Airing his grievances, a shop owner at the junction complained about the low patronage of his business since the total closure. “Sometimes we get the opportunity to pass the road for instance if you are coming from Tanke junction down to Sanrab, but now it’s different because the road is totally closed”
He continued, “We all have cars but we cannot use them to get to our shops, so we walk down here. The main worry now is that our businesses have been paralyzed because the customers can’t get to us, so they prefer to go somewhere else”
Scores of people could be seen hurriedly trekking the length of the bridge in order to get to the next bus stop and Folorunsho, an undergraduate, complained about the effects and the lack of good roads at the alternative routes, saying “I have to go across the bridge every morning and it has not been easy at all, it’s been very difficult. Sometimes someone might be late for class and be in a hurry to get to school”.
He added, “In fact, the alternatives that are available as of now, are inside the streets of Tanke and most of those roads are spoiled already. They are very bad, it is even making it harder to go to our workplaces and our schools.”
The residents, however, shared optimism and hope that the General Tunde Idiagbon Bridge would be completed soon by the Ministry of Works and the State Government.