According to local sources, two Reinforced Concrete Bridges (RCC) were built on the Dhaka-Tangail Highway in Latifpur area on the Ghatakhali River under Kaliakair upazila around 50 years back.
Roads and Highways Department authorities declared the road unfit for vehicles 30 years ago after a large portion of it collapsed.
Later, a bailey bridge was built on the damaged portion of it. Everyday thousands of vehicles ply the bridge leaving comuters lives at risk.
“The bridge, only means of communication between several upazilas and the district headquarters, had been in dilapidated condition for over 30 years,” said local Jahir Uddin.
Another bridge on the road in Phulbari area was declared abandoned on the Turag River 40 years ago after a portion of it collapsed. Later, a bailey bridge was built on it.
Home bound people have to face immeasurable sufferings due to long tailback in Elenga area because of the flow of the goods-laden trucks on the highway. The vehicles cannot run fast for dilapidated condition of the bridge.
Vehicles were seen moving bumper-to-bumper on the highway, said sources.
Residents of Chapair, Mediashulai, Rashidpur, Paikpara, Zathali, Phulbari, Maona, Mirzapur, Kuripara, Azgana demanded immediate repair of the two bridges.
Some traders said they had to face many problems as the bridges had been lying in dilapidated condition for many years.
Recently a sand laden truck fell into the Ghatakhali River while it was plying on the bailey bridge.
Though signboards had been erected in the areas declaring the bridges risky, vehicles ran on it defying law, alleged locals.
On the other hand, a bridge on the Dholsamudra-Naloabazar Road collapsed two years before.
Later, a bamboo-made bridge was built in the area. Everyday a lot of vehicles including auto-rickshaws, motorcycles and rickshaw-vans ply on the bridge risking lives.
Akbar Ali, secretary of Gazipur Transport Owners’ Association, said they had informed the Roads and Highway Department authorities several times about the dilapidated conditions of the roads.
KM Nahin, executive engineer of Roads and Highway Department, said steps had been taken to replace the bailey bridges.