The Federal Government has opened up on their plans to officially open the 2.2km Loko-Oweto Bridge and link roads between Benue and Nasarawa States to vehicular movement in March.
This was made know on Tuesday by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, during an inspection tour on Tuesday.
Fashola said the installation of road signs and other necessary fittings were the only impediments delaying the inauguration of the bridge and link roads, adding that it will be completed within four to 10 weeks.
He all said the bridge was a real test case demonstrating the president’s commitment to boost the economy through infrastructure.
The former governor have an account on how he spent four hours and 30minutes traveling from the ministry headquarters to the site in 2016.
Speaking with journalists, the minister said, “I can confidently say that we now have a bridge across the River Benue and almost 70 kilometres of roads linking Benue State to Nasarawa. We have also built 74 km of road linking Benue and Nasarawa into the FCT.
“The bridge was completed two and half years ago but we were waiting to connect the link road. In 2016, I remember it used to take four and half hours from Mabushi in Abuja to get here but today we took 2 hours thirty minutes from Mabushi to get here.
“The link road is substantially finished now and I think I can report to Mr president now that this bridge is ready to be formally opened to traffic. There are two bridges, one is 2.055 kilometres and the second is 800 metres, traversing the entire length of the river.
“We will tidy up what we need to do. We will install road signs, asphalting of shoulders and a few wearing cost materials. So in another four to ten weeks, we should be ready to come. It is important to inform Nigerians that those who speak about production and economy should come here to learn what infrastructure does.”
On the level of work done, Fashola said, “I think your cameras will tell the story better but clearly this is another intervention of the President Buhari administration in infrastructure.
“Understandably, there is a lot of emotions and excitement going on about the Second Niger Bridge. People forget that the bridge crosses the River Niger and it is an East-West crossing as it links the east of Nigeria to the western part of Nigeria.
“There is also a second major river in Nigeria, the River Benue. It is a North-South crossing. So, whilst there is a lot of publicity and excitement about the second Niger Bridge, perhaps not enough attention has been beamed on the Loko-Oweto Bridge.
“Due to this infrastructure, markets have sprung up- a sawmill, eatery and a mining site are fully operational. We are seeing economic improvement,” Fashola concluded.