Residents of Olorunda, Olorunsogo and Adewunmi communities in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Monday heaved a sigh of relief as the state government ordered the reconstruction of the bridge linking them which collapsed following heavy downpours early in the morning.

The residents, who said collapse of the bridge left them stranded with pupils unable to go to schools while civil servants, artisans and traders could not reach their destinations, hailed the prompt visit of the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, and his order to contractors to begin reconstruction work on Tuesday.

Egbeyemi, who was accompanied on the inspection of the collapsed bridge by the contractor to handle its reconstruction, Rudolph Najjar and officials of the Ministry of Works led by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Dele Agbede, assured residents that the bridge would be restored as soon as possible.

The Deputy Governor said, “The collapse of the bridge happened as a result of the heavy rain and we have seen it. That is why Governor Kayode Fayemi asked me to come and see things for myself and I am here accompanied by the contractor handling the road project.

“By the grace of God, work will commence here tomorrow (Tuesday). In fact, as from today, the contractor in charge has ordered for materials to be used for the work. I have given a directive that quality materials including hard stones be used and laying of asphalt. This government does not want life to be unbearable for the masses,” he said.

The president of Olorunda Community, Tayo Omolola, who praised the State government for the prompt intervention which he said had restored the hope of the people living in the area, said collapse of the bridge had brought despair to the residents of Olorunda and the adjoining communities of Olorunsogo and Adewumi.

According to him, the people had made representations to the government on the condition of the bridge, which was being managed through self-effort before its eventual collapse, saying, “It is the major bridge in use as the second one had been washed away by flood in 2019”.

Omolola urged the contractor and his workers to ensure that quality job was done on the project.