The second Niger bridge has reached 95 per cent completion and will be ready for use by the beginning of 2024.
Mr Seyi Martins, Ag. Controller of Works in Anambra State and Engineers’ representative on the project, said this when he received members of the Council for Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) at the site.
Martins said the first phase of the project, which was the bridge proper, was substantially completed, adding that the final asphalt surfacing on the Asaba-bound carriageway lane was the only part left.
He said the asphalt wearing course had been fully laid on Onitsha bound carriageway lane and that every other thing about the bridge, including the streetlights, the handrails, and the parapet wall had been completed.
Martins said the bridge, which is about 1.7km parallel to the existing bridge, is a dual carriageway with three lanes on both sides measuring about 1.6km in length while the total length of the project is 11.9km.
According to him, the steel guard rails are complete, the roads are set for vehicle traffic; the toll plaza area is almost completed, and what is left is the installation of toll booth canopies.
“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 3.3km road approach on the Delta side and 7km of approach road on the Anambra side that is yet to commence.”
The Controller said the bridge could be accessed from the interchange at Oba on Onitsha-Owerri road and that a road was 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 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,” he said.