One of the biggest projects of the Buhari administration is the Second Niger Bridge, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Despite the fact that the south east did not give the present administration its votes in 2015 and 2019 elections the south eastern zone is by far the major opposition to the Buhari government, yet the Second Niger bridge is the biggest and most challenging infrastructure project of the administration.
The existing bridge over the Niger River dates back to 1965. It serves as a major road connection, bridging the cities of Asaba on the west bank and Onitsha on the east bank and is part of the Trans-African Highway between Lagos and Mombasa in Kenya, in addition to being the main east-west connection within Nigeria.
The Second River Niger Bridge is part of a new motorway ring, which aims to minimize traffic congestion on the old bridge and to strengthen the entire region generally.
Julius Berger is providing the planning, logistics and construction of the river bridge. Julius Berger’s scope of work comprises the construction of a 1,600 m long reinforced concrete river crossing with a maximum span of 150 m as well as 1 motorway junction, 1 toll station, and as a further challenge, 10 km of road construction on extremely soft and swampy terrain.
The 3 sections: West Approach (755 m, 14 fields with 55 m span each), East Approach (205 m, 4 fields) and Main Bridge (630 m, 5 fields with a maximum span of 150 m) are being built in parallel using the different production methods “clock push” and “cantilever”. Since the water level of the Niger varies by about 10 m between the dry and rainy seasons, the foundation work in the river is carefully planned and coordinated.
Despite previous governments of Obasanjo and Jonathan budgeting for the second Niger bridge,there was no political will to actualize it. In-fact the Jonathan government made it his election slogan in 2011 while campaigning in the east , that he would resign if he could not build the bridge within his tenure.
He was however unable to go beyond showing the leaders of the region a sketch of the design on paper.
The Second Niger Bridge was awarded to Julius Berger in 2018 for N206,151,693 billion to be completed in 2022.
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