The Ministry of Roads and Highways is to put in measures to prevent overloaded vehicles from using the Adomi Bridge to save it from collapse.
The measures include building of weight in-motion sensors on the pavement leading to the bridge to control an automatic gate at the approaches to the bridge.
The gate will only open to trucks within the weight limit of 30 tons.
Mr Robert Joseph Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, disclosed this when he led a team of officials from the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) to inspect the bridge on Friday.
He said at the two points leading to the bridge, Kpong and Asikuma junction, axle weighing equipment would be put in place to check the weight of vehicles to ensure that they comply with an axle limit of 11.5 tons.
Mr Mettle- Nunoo appealed to all, especially the security agencies, to ensure that drivers comply with the regulations to help save the bridge, adding that should it collapse the Government would required not less than $500 million to replace it.
He said the Ministry was taking those measures in view of the problems encountered on the bridge recently, and advised drivers to stick to the approved weight limit of 30 tons per vehicle.
The Deputy Minister explained that at the time of the construction of the bridge in the 1950's, only few vehicles were using it but now the volume of traffic had increased thus putting a lot of pressure on it.
He expressed worry about the actions of some drivers whom he said were not only damaging the bridge but the roads as well, and stressed that the bridge is a strategic national asset and "we must protect it".
Mr Mettle-Nunoo said measures were being put in place to ensure that vehicles do not line up on the bridge for the drivers to pay their tolls but would cross it one at a time to relieve the pressure on it.
He disclosed that should the worst situation arise, alternative routes would be found for big trucks and only salon cars would be permitted to use the bridge.
Meanwhile, five drivers who attempted to cross the bridge with their overloaded vehicles were arrested and would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
The bridge was built between 1955 and 1956 and was inaugurated by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the then Prime Minister of the Gold Coast, now Ghana.
Sir Charles Noble Arden Clarke, was then the Governor of the Gold Coast.
The contractor for the project was Dorman Long Bridge Engineers Limited, while the Engineers were Sir William Halcrow and Partners and Freeman Fox and Partners.
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