From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja
The Federal Government has assured road users that ongoing repairs on Murtala Muhammed Bridge along Kotonkarfe-Lokoja road will be completed on schedule despite the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and rise in the tide of the River Niger.
The assurance was given by Engineer Emmanuel Adetunji Adeoye, Director of Highways and Bridges in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, who was at the site to access the progress of work on the bridge.
According to a statement by BoadeAkinola, Director Press and Public Relations, the Director explained that before before the rains came around May and June, his team did a lot of underwater works, which the public, for obvious reasons, did not notice.
“Because the water has come up now and they cannot really do much of the underwater works, that’s why they are doing the surface work that everyone is seeing but when we get towards November and December they will go on to continue the underwater works,” he said, assuring that “looking at the time and work they have done so far, I believe they are still within the schedule.”
Adeoye added that although the contract was awarded on the 10th of March, 2020, work, however, commenced on the 11th of May, barely two months after, and is expected to be completed by 10th May, 2022.
He appealed to the public to show understanding and be patient as government was committed to the repair of the bridge.
Engr. Adeoye Director appealed to road users to be “patient and know that government is committed to the repair of the bridge,” advising people to follow the instructions of the security personnel on ground so as to enjoy free flow of traffic.
Representative of the Contractor, Engineer Ebenezer Princewill said the company, Hallekem Limited was prepared to deliver the contract within schedule as long as funds were provided.
On local content, he said available local materials were being used while most of the workers were from within the area.
“In this community, we are training people on the project. We are also empowering the youths and have employed about thirty Nigerians for the job,” he said.