Mr. Jimoh Olawale, the Federal Controller of Works in Delta, has announced that the new Second Niger Bridge would be functional starting from December 15.
Olawale told reporters on December 7th, that the bridge will only be open for a month.
According to Olawale, the bridge, which is 95% complete, was ordered to be opened by Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works, in order to reduce traffic over the holiday season.
Olawale said, “As we know, during the Christmas celebration, commuters suffer hardship accessing the old Niger Bridge due to traffic jams but with this arrangement, traffic congestion on Asaba-Benin Expressway will ease.
“We have notified the state government of this arrangement and we are working with the Federal Roads Safety Corps to ensure a hitch-free vehicular movement.
“Motorists going towards Owerri direction would divert through the access road near the old Niger Bridge to the new bridge.”
Olawale stated that the government had not seized ownership of any land property along the 17-kilometre Okpanam-Ibusa-Asaba-Oko bypass to the new bridge, refuting the accusation that the FG had stopped paying compensation to property owners along the access route to the second Niger Bridge.
He claimed that the FG only gave notice that their buildings were on government property, nothing more.
The Federal Controller added that arrangements were being made for the payment of compensations.
He said: “The federal government has appointed a consultant, Messrs C.O. Akpabor and Company to enumerate the properties for compensation.
“Each claimant has an attorney that liaises with the consultant, so there is totally no need for protest, more so that the federal government has not taken possession of the properties nor commenced construction work on the access road.
“As at moment, nobody’s structure or property has been demolished.
“Federal government verification team have visited and submitted its report to Abuja and government will pay all compensation before work will commence on the access road.”