The much talked about reconstruction of a second Niger Bridge would start very soon, just as the Minister of Works,Arc. Mike Onolememen and Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State have met to resolve grey issues ahead of the take-off of the project execution.
The Minister disclosed during a courtesy call on Governor Uduaghan on Friday, March 2013 in Asaba, that work on the bridge would start shortly, saying that the contract for the construction of the bridge has been awarded to Julius Berger Nigeria Limited.
Onolememen explained that the 40 Kilometre six-lane approach roads and bridge would link the Onitsha- Owerri and Onitsha-Enugu dual carriage roads without passing through the ever busy Onitsha Town.
he revealed that Julius Berger would soon commence the preliminary processes that would lead to the construction of the bridge and called for co-operation from the state government and other stakeholders to facilitate the removal of impediments that would affect the early completion of the project.
Requesting the Delta State Government to facilitate the acquisition of land and ‘ Right of Way’ for the project, he said construction work would be delayed unless the State Government promptly intervene in this process.
“We are here today (Friday, 15/03/13) to seek your co-operation with the contracting firm, Julius Berger Nig. Ltd in the acquisition of “Right of Way’ and Land for the project and to help remove all encumbrances that will delay the early construction of the project.”
Promising that the new bridge when completed would link the South-East and South-South States, the Minister disclosed that the bridge would promote the socio economic development of the two geo-political zones and develop the frontiers of Asaba and Onitsha.
In his remarks, Governor Uduaghan said the award of the Second Niger Bridge contract was a welcomed development as it will reduce tension and traffic hazards in the Asaba and Onitsha ends of the old bridge especially during festive periods.
Uduaghan said the second Niger Bridge was long overdue and expressed the determination of his administration to render the required assistance to enable the project to be completed on schedule.
While promising to provide security as well as other logistic assistance, he said that “The construction of the second Niger Bridge is long overdue especially as traffic gridlocks during the festive periods extend over 5 kilometres at the Asaba end of the present Niger Bridge.”
“The second Niger Bridge is so important to the people of the South-South and South-East Zones as it is a vital link between Western Nigeria and the Eastern and Northern Nigeria.’
Uduaghan called on the officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to liaise with the State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Urban Development on the ‘Right of Way’ and Land acquisition so as to ensure a seamless construction of the project.
He however appealed to the Minister to help fast track the payment of the State claims on money spent on Federal Roads in the State over the years so that the state would continue to render further assistance.