Home » Industry » Chivake Bridge Damaged

A truck driver lost control of his vehicle and a 40-tonne granite block he was hauling fell off the trailer and punched a hole through Chivake River Bridge in Murehwa yesterday. Chivake is one of the major bridges in Mashonaland East, and the driver was on his way from Mutoko, a key supplier of granite for export. When the massive block fell off the haulage truck that Oliver Chaoma (45) was driving, it bounced 70 metres away from the thicket the vehicle crashed into.

The hole in the bridge has seen police seal off one lane of the road.

Yesterday, Chaoma was being treated at Murehwa District Hospital.

Mr Bezel Chivake, a villager, said he heard a loud bang about 200 metres from the bridge and went to investigate.

“I was surprised to see the granite block by the side of the road and the truck on the opposite side of the road . . . I rushed to the truck where the driver was still trapped in the cab and I managed to rescue him through the windscreen panel.”

Mashonaland East construction engineer in the Department of Roads, Engineer Arnold Mutungwazi said the bridge was built in 1963 and hitherto had no structural defects.

He said they were mobilising resources to repair it.

“Motorists are urged to proceed cautiously because the block extensively damaged the bridge and a 30-metre stretch of the road,” said Eng Mutungwazi.

“As soon as we mobilise our resources, it will take about a week for us to repair the damaged area.”

Chivake Bridge recorded one of the worst traffic accidents in the country on November 3, 1989 when 78 people died and 26 others were injured when the bus they were in plunged into the almost-dry riverbed.

Source : The Herald