Some road fittings installed on the newly inaugurated Second Niger bridge have been stolen by vandals.
A source in the Ministry of Works confirmed this development on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
The source said that the expansion joint walkway on axis 330 of the bridge had been stolen. This newspaper learnt that this is a critical part of the bridge that helps to absorb expansion and contraction caused by changes in temperature.
The theft of the road fittings could pose a safety hazard to motorists. The damaged part can cause discomfort to motorists and could even lead to accidents.
The source said, “Unfortunately, It’s true. The stolen fitting is an element from the expansion joints of the bridge. Drivers on that road have to be careful as the damaged part can cause discomfort to motorists.”
Recall that on May 23, the former president, Muhammadu Buhari, commissioned the N336 billion bridge, via an online platform, Zoom alongside seven other infrastructural projects.
The former Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced the completion of the bridge at a briefing in October 2022 after almost five decades of failed promises by successive administrations.
On December 15, 2022, the Federal Government also opened the Second Niger Bridge for use to ease traffic in the South-East during the festive season.
The Second Niger Bridge was first proposed during the 1978/79 political campaign by then-candidate Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria.
Patterned after the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the 1.6 kilometres long bridge linking Anambra and Delta states is to decongest traffic on the existing Niger Bridge, boost economic activities, and connect the South-East with the rest of the country.
Efforts to reach the ministry spokesperson, Blessing Adams-Lere, for official confirmation, proved abortive, as phone calls were not responded to as of press time.