B’da-Santa Road: Poor Repairs Cause Traffic Nightmare

Vehicles cued for long distances on both side of the repaired stretch

Public works engineers from the NW Regional delegation yesterday caused a huge traffic holdup on the Bamenda-Babajou road due to poor choice of material used to repair the portion of road ascending to Mile I Junction Uptation Bamenda from the Tradex filling station.

Vehicles could be seen cueing up on both sides of the repaired portion of the road for hours before being able to ascend or descend. The engineers lead by the regional delegate Njing Wilfred used very big rock aggregates, with some as big as foundation stones to place on the road. These stones coupled with the wet weather made traction very difficult. Many vehicles needed to be pushed by hands to beat the poor tyre friction caused by the stones. Public works officials it will appeared had disagreed about the choice of materials to be used on the road with the higher authorities prevailing.

It takes over 30 minutes for smaller vehicles to cross the short distance of less that 30 metres, causing a back log of vehicles on both sides. This prompted the Mile I police situated just at the bad portion of the road and the regional delegate and his team to intervene. They assisted to control the vehicles ascending in a slow and controlled mannered.

smaller vehicles had to be pushed to beat the ascend
The material used on the road was judged not to be appropriate

Many cummutters had to trek to cross from either side while inter urban transport buses took their time to gradually climb out of the mess. Trekking also posed a big problem as many vehicles struggling to climb forced rocks from the tyres in different directions.

“Look at my leg” one passerby showed a group of bystanders a wound on the shin with fresh blood after he was hit by a stone forced out of the road by the spinning tyre of Corolla 90 taxi.

Two other ladies narrated how they had to trek from the Skyline Junction to Blue Moon because they could not find a taxi or bike after Mile I.

it was a nightmare crossing even for those treking

Heavy duty vehicles also faced difficulties crossing

The few bikes we later found on either side of the stretch of road were charging very high. I was asked to pay 250 Frs from Mile 1 junction to Mile II, a distance of just over a kilometre.

What further compounded the situation was that the available deviations were longer and in very bad state. Most vehicles that wanted to avoid the long cue and gained time needed to go round through the pastoral centre to Akumbele junction and down to the custom junction. They could also use the custom junction-Akumbele through Abumuchwi and Ntanche neighbourhoods in Bamendakwe to Mile III. They could also (mostly motorbikes) pass through the Pastoral centre and through Mehmehnta and through GBHS Bamendakwe. But all these alternative roads are in very bad state due to the heavy rains.

This particular stretch of the the road has been a nightmare for vehicles and pedestrians using the road since the start of the rainy season. A small stream flowing down from behind the Bamenda Central prison had been using the road as it’s path when plastic bottles and plantain and banana suckers blocked the culverts. Several attempts to repair it have yielded any fruits .

By Abongwa Fozo

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