Welcome to the gateway of progress and connectivity – the Second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, Anambra State. This Bridge is a key national infrastructure, with immense socio-economic benefits for the contiguous states and indeed the entire nation.
The Second Niger Bridge, also known as the Zik’s Bridge, is a monumental infrastructure project spanning the Niger River. It serves as a crucial link between the southeastern and southwestern regions of Nigeria. The Second Niger Bridge crosses the River Niger and links the cities of Asaba the capital of Delta State in the west and Onitsha, Anambra state in the east. This bridge is not only an engineering marvel but a catalyst for regional development.
The idea of the bridge was conceived to ease traffic flow and more importantly relieve human and vehicular traffic on the first Niger Bridge, improve road safety, and create greater opportunities for local residents by advancing the commercial viability of the immediate area and regenerating economic life. The bridge and its link roads are about 46.9km long. The details of the bridge and its link roads are as follows: 1.6km bridge over the River Niger; 10.3km approach roads from Asaba and Onitsha; two (2) secondary bridges at Amakon Village Road and Atani Road of 21.7m each; a new cloverleaf interchange at Onitsha – Owerri Road and a toll station all at Obosi city near Onitsha. Construction of the bridge started on September 1, 2018.
During the construction, 8,700,000 man-hours were recorded for a period of 2 and half years, yet no casualty or accident. The estimated cost of the construction was about ₦336 Billion. The project was funded through the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF). On December 15, 2022, at 9:50 local time, the bridge was opened to traffic. Since not all connecting roads have been completed yet, makeshift roads have been created to allow the bridge to be used during the Christmas holidays. Crossing the bridge is free of charge in the interim.
According to report as at the time compiling this article, the construction of the bridge has been completed. It further stated that work on the bridge was completed in May 2023 and was inaugurated in the same month. The maintenance work on the bridge is being undertaken by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.