The federal government has announced that the 2nd Niger-bridge project would be ready for launch by the first quarter of 2024.
The disclosure was made on Saturday by the acting federal controller of works in Anambra State, Seyi Martins, Naija News reports.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari-led government through the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced in November 2016 that it awarded a sum of N206 billion to Julius Berger Construction Company for the completion of the 2nd Niger Bridge.
The government had earlier revealed that the project would be officially commissioned in December 2022. It, however, noted that the bridge would be opened for access by 2024, due to the second phase of work, a 3.3km road approach, on the Delta side and a 7km road approach on the Anambra side that was yet to commence.
Naija News reports that Martins revealed this while playing host to members of the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria on the bridge over the weekend.
According to the official, work has gone far on the facility and it’s already on 95 per cent completion. He pointed out that the first phase of the project had been substantially completed, saying that what was left was the final asphalt surfacing, on the Asaba-bound carriageway lane.
According to him, the bridge which would be about 1.7km parallel to the existing bridge, would be a dual carriageway with three lanes on both sides measuring about 1.6km in length while the total length of the project would be 11.9km.
The acting controller further said that the steel guard rails had been completed, while the roads were set for vehicle traffic with the toll plaza area almost completed.
He said, “The bridge project is 95 per cent complete and it is expected to be commissioned by the end of December 2022, but there is a second phase 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.
“The bridge can be accessed from the interchange at Oba on Onitsha-Owerri road. A road is being constructed to connect traffic on the Asaba-Benin Expressway pending the completion of the second phase.
“The second phase of the project is 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 Benin-Onitsha road.”
On his part, the Chairman, COREN, Victor Meju, commended the contractor for a job well done. He expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done so far.
Meju said COREN leadership was concerned with ensuring that engineers working on projects in Anambra were certified. He expressed satisfaction with the extent of work done so far, while commending the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for the commitment shown to deliver 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 for the whole country.
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 and 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.”