The second Niger Bridge will only be accessible to traffic from December 15, 2022, to January 15, 2023, according to Works and Housing Minister, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to facilitate the transportation of goods and services during the Christmas celebrations.
He clarified that although the bridge’s construction was finished, work was still being done to connect it to the main highway.
After the Ember Months meeting with stakeholders and contractors managing various road projects around the nation on Thursday in Abuja, Fashola made this statement while responding to questions from the press.
He pointed out that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency and contractors had both pledged to carry out corrective work on a number of important roads to facilitate traffic during this season, when our roads see a lot of activity.
Fashola said, “We have completed work on the bridge, so if you go there now you can walk from one end of the bridge to the other or drive from one end of the bridge to the other, but the connecting road that links that bridge to the main highway, is what we want to finish.
“What delayed us is the stop work orders on Mondays, the flood also delayed us but it was a blessing in disguise because the original level of the flood resistance was based on the 2012 flood report.
“So, we have to raise the height of that road, happily and thankfully it didn’t affect the bridge.
“The president approved that since the bridge is finished that we should create a access road so that during Christmas you can begin to experience what it would feel like plying the bridge.
“It would be open for traffic going from the west to the east from the 15th Dec, 2022- 15th January 2023.
“Let me be clear again we haven’t finished construction work but we would open it for people to use to relive the pressure from the one bridge, it wouldn’t be available for heavy duty trucks, it would only be small vehicles for now until we finish our work.
“On the 15th January we would reverse that movement for those coming from the east to the west. We have told all the contractors that they shouldn’t open anymore sections for construction i.e. there shouldn’t be any barrier on the roads this season.”
Fashola also pledged to continue patching potholes along certain road corridors as has been done in the past.
He urged Nigerian drivers to recognize that roads are a depreciating asset, so even while some of them are being repaired, other parts may be in need of replacement.
Fashola also urged Nigerians to take responsibility for the roads in their communities by discouraging practices that degrade the asphalt, such as tire burning, the use of corrosive substances like motor oil, and the usage of other lubricants.
The Federal Road Safety Corps, FERMA, National Union of Road Transport Owners, Directors of Roads and Bridges in the Ministry, and others sent representatives to the meeting.