[ACCI-CAVIE] The cities in the east and west of Nigeria are home to the country’s major business centers. This explains the heavy flow of traffic on the only bridge linking these two regions, which is subject to huge traffic jams on a daily basis. The second bridge planned to solve this problem is almost complete. The first information obtained by the African Centre for Competitive Intelligence obliges to put this file under monitoring.
Work on the second bridge being built over the River Niger by Nigeria should be completed by October, reports Lars Richter, managing director of Julius Berger, the company in charge of executing the project. The site has reached 91% physical completion, according to the Minister of Public Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who briefed the press on the project’s progress on Thursday, March 24, 2022.
The project launched in September 2018, and which required up to 206 billion naira ($499 million) in investment, according to Babatunde Raji Fashola, had an initial delivery deadline of February 2022. But according to company officials, the construction work has been slowed down by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Initiated in the 1970s, this bridge, on which work finally started in 2018, is an essential link in the Trans-African Highway No. 8, which will connect Lagos (Nigeria) to Mombasa (Kenya). The structure includes a 1.6 km long bridge, a 10.3 km six-lane highway, an interchange at Owerri and a toll station in the town of Obosi.
The only bridge over the river, built since 1965, has become the major road infrastructure linking eastern and western Nigeria. As a result, it concentrates a lot of traffic and experiences heavy congestion on a daily basis.
Its completion is expected to relieve traffic on the first bridge and strengthen the interconnection of the commercial cities of Asaba (on the west bank) and Onitsha (in the east) to the southern part of the country via Anambra.
By Henoc Dossa