The Second Niger Bridge has been on the drawing board since 1976 until construction commenced on September 1, 2018. The bridge constructed across the River Niger, connects Asaba (Delta State) with Ogbaru in Anambra State. It is meant to complement the existing one constructed in 1965, which although destroyed during the Nigeria civil war, was reconstructed after the war.
Over the years, it was discovered that the existing bridge could no longer cope with the volume of traffic on daily basis as sometimes, motorists had to spend the night on top of the bridge due to traffic gridlock.
In fact, former President Olusegun Obasanjo performed ground breaking ceremony of the 2nd Niger bridge during his tenure, but nothing much was done before he left office. Former President Goodluck Jonathan also performed the same ceremony at the twilight of his administration.So, when President Muhammadu Buhari announced that his administration would construct the bridge, many people did not believe him, considering that it had previously been used as a political gimmick. But the president has proved the naysayers wrong by completing the project in a record time.
After four years of consistent funding and construction, the 2nd Niger Bridge was opened to traffic on December 15, 2022 for light vehicles only. The test run period would last from December 15 to January 15, 2023.
The bridge had gulped a whopping N336 billion as at February, 2022, although it was gathered that the cost had since gone up.
The length of the bridge is 1.63 kilometers, while the adjoining roads from Oko Amakom in Delta State to the bridge and from the Onitsha end of the bridge to Obosi interchange brought it to about 12 kilometers.
The journey to its actualisation started with the creation of the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund in 2018. The PIDF was created to accelerate the execution of certain critical, strategic infrastructure projects essential to the rapid growth and modernization of Nigeria’s economy and the 2nd Niger Bridge was a major beneficary.