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HYPOCRISY: Niger bridge repair works, completion to be set by December—FG

Mr Innocent Alumonah, Federal
Controller of Works, Anambra says
the Federal Government will
complete repair work on the existing
Niger Bridge before the end of
December.
Alumonah, who gave the assurance
while speaking with newsmen on
Monday in Asaba, said that the
contract awarded in 2013 was 78
per cent completed.
He said the essence of the
emergency repair work was to
ensure that the bridge was brought
back to its full functionality and
increase its lifespan.
The controller said the existing
bridge was constructed in 1965 and
commissioned in 1966, adding that
the bridge had enjoyed a lifespan of
53 years.
“You can agree with me that the
bridge is aging and experiencing
heavy traffic in addition to the axle
loads going through it on daily
basis.
“It is on this premise that the federal
government decided to award
contract for the reinforcement of the
bridge to bring it back to full
functionality and extend its lifespan,”
he said.
He said the scope of works on the
project was mainly replacement of
the damaged steel members,
sandblasting and treatment of steel
members against rusting.
Alumonah said the scope of the
work also involved increasing the
bearing capacity of the soil after it
was realised that the wearing
capacity was becoming weak.
“Soil line protection that will ensure
that embankment of the bridge is
not eroded and the replacement of
the bridge bearing has all been
carried out.
“Before the end of this year, we
should see the end of the project
because it is currently at its
completion stage,” he said.
He blamed the delay in the
completion of the project on some of
the test carried out that required the
assistance of some foreigners.
According to him, they brought in
some foreigners from the UK who
helped in the execution of the
stabilisation of the soil.
Mr Henry Udeh, the Director of
Highways Bridges Construction,
Federal Ministry of Power, Works
and Housing said bridges, like other
structures required regular
maintenance.
He said the existing Niger Bridge
was undergoing normal routine
maintenance because it was old and
needed to be maintained to increase
its lifespan.
“The work is seasonal because, as
the raining season is setting in, the
water level will start increasing.
“Once it gets to a time that the
contractor cannot work again, they
will stop and wait for the next dry
season.
“That is one of the major reasons for
the delay in the project,” he said.

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