The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has described the temporal opening of the 2nd Niger Bridge as a “solution to the perennial traffic challenge” being experienced by commuters on the First Niger bridge, especially during festive periods.
Mr Fashola was speaking during a visit to the 2nd Niger Bridge. he was there to assess the level of preparations ahead of the opening of the bridge to traffic.
The Minister noted that there were still “a few things to be done” before the actual event, such as lane markings and completion of work at the Obosi and Asaba interchange.
The bridge was constructed to complement the first Niger bridge, which is being overburdened by “constant and heavy vehicular movement”, Mr Fashola explained.
He commended the Buhari administration for deeming it necessary to construct the 2nd Niger bridge as a “permanent solution” to the traffic challenge and as an avenue for further development of the South-East region.
He, however, appealed to motorists and other road users to “drive safely within the maximum speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour” to avoid accidents.
The Director, Highway Bridges and Design, Oluropo Oyetade said the temporal opening of the bridge would not only ease traffic flow on the old Niger bridge but prevent the usual gridlock which overweighs on its frameworks.
The Engineer representing the Construction Firm, Martins Oluwaseyi, while providing more insight on the temporal opening of the bridge, explained that the bridge will only open to road users from the West between December 15 this year and January 1 2023; whereas road users from the East will have the bridge open to them from January 2 to 15, 2023.
The Second Niger Bridge is a multi-billion naira project which is 96.5% completed and will be officially commissioned next year.
Radio Nigeria correspondent reports that toll gates on the bridge will not be used throughout this temporal period of opening.