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FG opens 2nd Niger Bridge, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road

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.

Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road

The Federal Government has temporarily opened the entire Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road for commuters to ease traffic movement during the Christmas and new year seasons.

The Director, Highways and Rehabilitation, in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr Folorunso Esan disclosed this in Zaria, while inspecting the three sections of the road project.

Abuja-Kaduna-Kano road

He said the two lanes of the over 380 kilometer will be open for commuters’s use between now and January, when the contractors are expected to be back from break.

“From Abuja to Zaria, we have seen that the whole road is cleared of barricades. No any barrier from Abuja to Kano now.”

“This is the major road in north west, or even the entire north,so we don’t want any kind of gridlock during this festive season. Whatever is left of the work, contractor will come back I’m January and continue. So, for now, we have open the road for people to use.”

“This is because the contractor will close for end of the year holiday and leave the road for free flow of traffic,” he said.

He said they road will be completed with stipulated time, and is confident of delivering especially the Kaduna-Zaria-Kano section of the road before the end of the first quarter of 2023.

In the same vein, the road Project Manager, Finn Drosdowski Project, gave the assurance that the work will be delivered in spite of the challenges on ground.

“We are closing for Christmas break between now and January, and during this period, Nigerians are known to be traveling a lot, so, to ease the traffic, we opened all the lanes because we are no longer working there to make them accessible and make the Abuja-Kano journey more comfortable,”

Reporting by Oby Arinze and Abdullahi Jalaluddeen; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino and Tony Okerafor