As Road Repairs Progress, Giant Pothole, Others Which Defied Ayade’s Tenure Stare At Otu

In Breaking News, Reports
Motorists often struggle to use the road as both incoming and outgoing traffic have to yield for the other (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

By Ushang Ewa

A pothole along Yellow Duke Street which defied two interventions during the administration of Governor Ben Ayade currently stares the Bassey Otu’s administration while repairs of roads ahead of the yuletide progress in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The rehabilitation of some sections of roads in the Calabar metropolis commenced a few weeks ago. The pace has picked up with Faith Plant, a local construction firm handling the project, of which details remain sketchy about the scope and cost to taxpaying Cross Riverians.

But, a giant pothole that has claimed at least two lives at Yellow Duke Street, has been fixed thrice since it began appearing in 2016 remains untouched while work progresses on other streets.

A girl looks over her shoulder into a minivan approaching the site of a failing culvert that has left a gaping hole at Yellow Duke Street in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital. The hole has claimed at least two lives in Seven years and has been fixed thrice in six years (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)
A girl looks over her shoulder into a minivan approaching the site of a failing culvert that has left a gaping hole at Yellow Duke Street in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital. The hole has claimed at least two lives in Seven years and has been fixed thrice in six years (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

The Giant Pothole

Findings by CrossRiverWatch reveal the pothole has been fixed, at least three times since 2016 by Governor Ayade’s administration.

The hole first appeared in 2016 and was fixed in 2017. It appeared again in 2018 and by May 2018, residents edited the signage “Ayade Is Working” to read; “It’s A Lie, Ayade Is Not Working.” It was fixed late in 2018.

'Ayade is working' changed to 'It's a lie Ayade Is Not Working' by residents
File Picture: ‘Ayade is working’ changed to ‘It’s a lie Ayade Is Not Working’ by residents

Furthermore, it reappeared in 2021. By October of that year, an accident occurred on the road. On the night of November 1, 2021, two lost their lives after a vehicle somersaulted into the giant hole. It was fixed again between 2021 December and January 2022.

The hole reappeared during the rainy season of 2022 and has remained untouched since then, with motorists complaining about the delays in movement it usually creates.

The Giant pothole that continues to defy repairs at Yellow Duke Street (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

Other Potholes And Sharp Business

While potholes across the major roads have been fixed, others in interior routes still beg for attention, while some scavengers make brisk business.

Potholes in New Airport Road, Mount Zion by Orok Orok, Atamunu, Palm Street, some parts of Akai Effa and Ikot Ansa, and many others are yet to receive any attention.

A commercial tricycle navigates through potholes at Mount Zion by Orok Orok junction in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)
A commercial tricycle navigates through potholes at Mount Zion by Orok Orok junction in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

For instance, the effort to evacuate the blocked gutters and drainage systems across some routes in the city has led to the removal of concrete slabs reinforced with steel rods.

The steel rods have become the target of scavengers who destroy these concrete slabs to remove them and sell them off to scrap dealers.

A Scavenger destroys a concrete slab reinforced with steel rods used in covering drainage and gutters at Etta Agbor to remove the rods and sell to scrap dealers. The slabs were removed to clear the gutters (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)
A Scavenger destroys a concrete slab reinforced with steel rods used in covering drainage and gutters at Etta Agbor to remove the rods and sell to scrap dealers. The slabs were removed to clear the gutters (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

This presents another challenge as the State will need to approve another contract for the provision of the slabs to prevent accidents from other road users and provide passage for those trekking and using bicycles on routes where there are no shoulders.

Faith Plant, a local construction firm, is handling the rehabilitation (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

 

Some of the repairs at the University of Calabar Main Gate Roundabout at Etta Agbor (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)
Some of the repairs at the University of Calabar Main Gate Roundabout at Etta Agbor (Credit: CrossRiverWatch/Jonathan Ugbal)

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