The Gombe-Bauchi highway has once again faced disruption due to heavy rainfall, causing a significant number of travellers to be left stranded along the route. Sunday morning’s torrential downpour resulted in numerous commuters having to halt their journeys and retrace their steps. Some individuals chose the longer Dukku route in Bauchi State as an alternative path.
The recurrent problem can be traced back to the ongoing collapse of the bridge at Bara village, situated along the Gombe-Bauchi Road. This bridge consistently crumbles during the rainy season, causing significant disruptions in travel between neighbouring states.
Frustrated travellers have voiced their concerns, pointing out that both the Bauchi and Gombe State governments have failed to address the bridge’s repairs despite their crucial importance. The government’s inaction has been attributed to the bridge’s federal highway status. Temporary fixes involving rock placement on the bridge have provided only short-lived relief.
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State has recently announced a plan for the federal government to initiate the reconstruction of the deteriorating road within the next six months. He underlined that this project falls under the broader initiatives led by President Bola Tinubu across the six geopolitical zones.
In response to the situation, Dauda Biu, the corps marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), has advised motorists travelling through the Abuja-Yola road and the Northeastern region en route to the North-Central region to explore alternative routes that bypass the troubled Bauchi-Gombe route. This advisory becomes even more crucial due to the recent heavy rainfall, which increases the risk of flooding on the road.
The FRSC highlighted a failed culvert at Kalajaga village (located at KM118 on the Bauchi-Gombe road) as a major factor rendering the road impassable. The excessive rains resulted in the complete erosion of the culvert, forcing the closure of the road. The FRSC has recommended alternate routes: those travelling from Abuja to Yola should opt for the Abuja-Jos-Bauchi-Darazo-Duku-Gombe-Yola route, while individuals journeying from Yola to Abuja should use the Yola-Gombe-Duku-Darazo-Bauchi-Jos-Abuja route.
Assuring the public of their commitment, the FRSC is actively managing the situation by diverting traffic and ensuring the safety of road users at the affected portion of the road. Regular updates will be provided as the situation unfolds.