I’ve always loved rollercoasters ever since I played the game Rollercoaster Tycoon back in JSS. Riding on one, especially in Disneyland, is a prominent feature on my bucket list. The closest I’ve come to achieving this is, like the proverbial Canaan, seeing people riding one and screaming in glee but never actually riding it myself. Good times.
And then came the new Adum footbridge. You’ve seen it if you’ve been to Adum lately. It replaced the rickety old one that was nothing but an accident waiting to happen. Big ups to the authorities for this rare preemptive action. It was inaugurated October 2013, and cost a little over GHS 2,000,000 to construct. So how does it feel to walk/ride on this pseudo-rollercoaster? Come along.
THERE SHE IS
There you can see the rollercoaster-walkover lurking in the distance, beckoning you to come, come on and walk over and be amazed. Be transported to a whole new world, a new fantastic wide-eyed view, no one to tell you ‘No’, or where to go (all right, I’ll cease and desist from stealing Disney lyrics now). The footbridge project was started in 2007 by an Italian firm Gelfi Jarroch. It stalled when one of the engineers was injured in a fall.
The project was restarted in 2009, this time by High Brains Limited. The Ghanaian company was tasked with replacing all rusted nuts and bolts with new ones, and finishing up. By and large they did a great job.
Anyway, so we are drawing ever closer. I think this walkover deserves an exciting name. All rollercoasters have one. Yes, I know it’s not really a rollercoaster but do indulge me for a minute or five, will you? Sheesh.
Okay, we’ll call it…wait for it…
THE SIANO ULTRA-HYPER-TRANSPORTER 5000
Tons of steel and concrete bent and moulded to do the bidding on man. A feat of civil engineering, an honourable profession.
I finally take my first step on the Siano Ultra-Hyper-Transporter 5000. It resonates reassuringly. This is going to be a fun ride.
Warming up and accelerating…
I’m taking the wheelchair ramp instead of the staircase. I stand by this decision.
MEANWHILE ON THE OTHER SIDE
I take my first vertigo-inducing look over the side. If you look closely enough in this picture, you can see my shadow selfie taking the photo. Photo within a photo. #Inception
Here, I encounter a group of three kayayei, also known as head porters. You only see two because the third one is scared of the camera and runs out of shot just before the snap. She encourages her colleagues to scram, which they do, but not before being immortalized in digital ink. And on the issue of head porters – I always found that term funny. Aren’t we all head porters, carrying a head on our necks? Think about it.
Inching closer to the portion of the ride that would be the loop if this were a rollercoaster. Those are the riveted steel arches that support the weight of the Siano Ultra-Hyper-Transporter 5000 and the pedestrians using it.
The loads are transmitted to the arches via the attached steel bars, and the arches pass them on to the foundation. That’s Civil 101.
The iconic towers of St. Peter’s Basilica greet us in the distance.
LOOPING THE LOOP
Whooooo! It’s always fun to loop the loop on a rollercoaster.
Another look over the edge. Spectacular, huh?
SCREECH TO A HALT
And all too soon, my fun ride on the Siano Ultra-Hyper-Transporter 5000 comes to an end. I take a hike up the hill to snap a few picture of St. Peter’s Basilica for my collection.
Hope you had fun on this ride. Yeah it’s not the real thing, but anything can be fun if you have the right imagination. Hopefully, the next time you hear about the Siano Ultra-Hyper-Transporter 5000, it will be Ghana’s first rollercoaster. Till then, as always, please share this to keep the dream alive, and let me know what you think in the comments below.