The Federal Government has finalised plans to commence the reconstruction of the collapsed bridge at New Artisan, along the Enugu Port Harcourt dual carriageway, beginning with palliative works on the standing bridge on one lane, Friday, to ensure it is ready for use within the next 10 days.
This was made known by the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, and the Minister of Works, Engr. Dave Umahi, during a pre-reconstruction visit to the site on Wednesday.
Speaking to newsmen, Governor Mbah appreciated the Minister and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for their prompt response to alleviate the hardship the collapsed bridge had caused road users.
“First of all, let me start by thanking Mr. President and the Honourable Minister of Works for the interest and the speed at which they have attended to this challenge that is before us.
“As we know, the Minister was also here with us to inspect and to identify areas of quick intervention the last time we came here; and I am happy now to announce to you that the Minister has come here to inform us again that work is going to commence here tomorrow (Friday).
“So, there is going to be the repair of the existing lane, and hopefully, within the next 10 days, our people should be able to use one of the lanes. Then effectively around the middle of next month, the full work on the bridges on both lanes would commence”, he said.
Also, fielding questions from newsmen, the Minister of Works, described Mbah as a productive leader who had remained focused and applied pressure to ensure that the challenge was addressed immediately.
Umahi said: “Let me thank the governor of Enugu State, a very productive man, and to congratulate him for success over the numerous distractions, even though he has refused to be distracted.
“So, because of his strength and his commitment to the people that he is leading, we have to follow. It is good leadership, and we have promised him that this week, we are going to do palliative work on this existing or standing bridge. We will also start reconstruction of the collapsed bridge courtesy of Mr. President.
“Also, graciously, Mr. President has, through the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Act, released some money that we can use to start the rebuilding of these two bridges and the other bridge by the Pipeline Products Marketing Company (PPMC) deport at Emene as well as a flyover by that location.
“I know the governor is very eager to build that federal road, being the Enugu-Abakaliki Road. He has concluded the design and is going to start in earnest. But, while he is doing that, we will be doing the flyover at the depot (Eke Emene) to complement it. Therefore, it is a partnership, and it is a healthy one”.
He commended the governor for placing service to the people above partisan politics and for refusing to be distracted by the opposition in the state.
“He has been on me over this road, insisting I must come to ensure that work commences as promised. It shows that leadership is commitment to the people of Enugu State and the entire Nigeria. So, the chain is as strong as its weakest link.
“I also want to thank the governor because he is not doing party; a party is just a vehicle to get to where we are going, and we have all gotten to where we are going. So, it is now time for leadership and time to work for the people. That is why Mr. President said we must come, and in the next 10 days, I am sure that we will reinforce the standing bridge on one lane, and we will start to use it”, the Minister concluded.
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