Second Niger Bridge ready in December, says FG
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The acting Federal Controller of Works in Anambra State, Seyi Martins, has said that the Second Niger Bridge will be fully ready for use by the first quarter of 2024.
Martins said although the bridge would be officially inaugurated by December 2022, it would be fully opened for use due to the second phase of work, which is a 3.3km road approach on the Delta side and 7km of approach road on the Anambra side that is yet to commence.
He stated this on Saturday when he received members of the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria at the bridge site.
The acting Controller pointed out that the first phase of the project had been substantially completed, saying that what is left is the final asphalt surfacing on the Asaba-bound carriageway lane with that of Onitsha-bound carriage way fully laid.
According to him, the bridge, which is about 1.7 km parallel to the existing bridge, is a dual carriageway with three lanes on both sides measuring about 1.6 km in length, while the total length of the project is 11.9 km.
Martins added that the steel guard rails had been completed while the roads are set for vehicle traffic with the toll plaza area almost complete, pointing out that the installation of toll booth canopies is being worked on.
He said, “The bridge project is 95 per cent complete, and it is expected to be delivered by the end of December 2022 but there is a second phase, which is a 3.3-kilometre road approach on the Delta side and a 7-kilometre approach road on the Anambra side that is yet to commence.
“The bridge can be accessed from the interchange at Oba on the Onitsha-Owerri road. A road is being constructed to connect traffic on the Asaba-Benin Expressway to it, pending the completion of the second phase.
“The second phase of the project has yet to commence, but the government has deemed it fit that upon completion of the first phase, it will be open to traffic.
“At the Onitsha end, there is an interchange at Oba, where you can access the bridge, and on the Asaba end, there is a link road we are constructing to enable travellers to access the bridge from the Benin-Onitsha road.”
While commending the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for showing commitment to delivering on the job as scheduled, he noted that the bridge, when completed, would not only boost the economic activities of the South-East and South-South but that of the whole country.
The chairman, COREN, Victor Meju, expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done so far and the use of indigenous engineers and also commended the contractor.
Meju said COREN leadership was concerned with ensuring that engineers working on projects in Anambra were certified.
He said, “What we have observed today is impressive. We are happy that our members, local engineers, were generously used in this project.
“We thank the Federal Government, the government of Anambra and Delta states for their efforts at seeing that the project come this far; we are confident that the bridge will increase the business activities in the area.”
Niger Bridge documentary
Meanwhile, a 25-minute documentary chronicling the story of the second Niger Bridge will air on Channels Television on Monday, October 3, at 6pm., and on National Television Authority on Tuesday, October 4, at 8.30 pm.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled, “Airing of a Documentary on the Second Niger Bridge.”
The statement read partly, “After over 40 years of promises by successive administrations, the stage is almost set for the inaugurating of the Second Niger Bridge, after its completion by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity has produced a 25-minute documentary titled, ‘The Legacy: The Second Niger Bridge.”