The 1.8 kilometres Loko-Oweto bridge, constructed at the cost of N51 billion, will be ready in May, according to Mr Dayyabu Mamman, Director of Highways (North-Central Zone), Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
“Work on the project is 93 per cent completed; the bridge will be ready and handed over to the Federal Government for inauguration in May,” Mamman said o Saturday, when he led a delegation on an inspection of federal roads in the state.
Mamman said that the bridge, whose construction was awarded to Reynolds Construction Company in 2011, would connect Benue with Nasarawa State.
He said that the construction of the bridge was expected to be completed within 48 months, but was later extended to 84 months.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who covered the inspection tour, also quoted Mr Celestine Shausu, Federal Controller of Works, Benue State, as saying that the 103 km Otukpo-Apa-Oweto road was ready for inauguration.
Shausu explained that the road, which is in two phases, was started in 2011 with the Benue Government constructing 50 km from Otukpo to Iga-Opkaya, before the federal government took over its rehabilitation.
He said that the remaining 53 km, which was awarded to CGC Nigeria Limited in 2014 at the cost of N7.9 billion, was completed and awaiting inauguration, and expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done by the contractor.
Speaking to newsmen, the Project Manager of CGC Nigeria Limited, Mr Li Wei, said that the road project was ready for inauguration, adding that all payments had been completed.
On the dualization of the 8 km Otukpo township road and rehabilitation of Otukpo-Taraku -Aliade Road, awarded to Rockbridge Construction Limited at the cost of N9.9 billion, Shausu said that the project was on track.
He also said that the 76 km Otukpo-Ninth Mile Road, which was also awarded to Rockbridge Construction Ltd, was going according to specifications.
Mr Iyad Ghannoum, Area Manager, Rockbridge Construction Limited, told newsmen that the project duration was 38 months, adding that work on 7 kms had been completed.
Ghannoum said that the dualization of Otukpo township roads would soon commence, and urged motorists to obey road signs, especially where road constructions was ongoing.
Commenting on the quality of work already done, a motorist, Mr Philip Adadu, commended the federal government for the rehabilitation of the Otukpo -Taraku -Aliade road, saying that it had provided easy transportation for farm produce.
Adadu, however, appealed to the government to extend the rehabilitation to cover Ailade-Makurdi road.
At the Loko-Oweto bridge, a cross section of motorists and businessmen commended government for the construction of the Oweto-Otukpo road and the bridge, saying that access to Nasarawa State and Abuja had been made easy.
A motorist, Isah Danladi, recalled that the older generations trekked a whole day to reach Nasarawa State or waited for hours by the river bank for local canoes to ferry them across the river.
“With the construction of the bridge, movement has been made easy,” an elated Danladi told NAN.
Danladi commended the federal government for ensuring that the work was of excellent quality, saying that the construction of the bridge would boost commercial activities.