By Johnpaul Anih, 8/3/2021
The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, has formally announced commencement of the first ever flyover bridge project by the state government, located at the intractable Abakpa Nike/Nike Lake/T-Junction road, in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state, on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
Speaking when he inspected the project site’s readiness for work commencement, alongside the Commissioners for Works and Infrastructure and Housing, Engr. Greg Nnaji and Hon. Vitus Okechi respectively, the Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh, maintained that the government’s order announcing a shutdown of the road by midnight of Monday, March 8, stands.
Aroh who revealed that he led a state government delegation to also inspect the construction yard of the company handling the flyover, IDC Construction Limited, said that all was now set for the commencement of the project in earnest. He added that the contractor assured that he would deliver the project before the end of 2021.
The Information Commissioner said the flyover project, when completed, would ease traffic gridlock in the area.
Also speaking, the Works Commissioner, Nnaji, stated that the contractor had been fully mobilized and was ready for the take-off of the project, pointing out that five roads have been designated for public use as diversions.
Engr. Nnaji who said that the five designated roads are being announced on air, listed them to include, Abakpa Nike Last Bus Stop-Oda Ngene- Umuchigbo-Nike Harmony Estate Adoration Road Junction; Bishop Shanahan- Ugbene 11-Ugbo Ndafe-Ama Owelle- Alulu-EELG HQ-Nkwor Nike Junction, and Emene-Adoration Ministries Pilgrimage Center- Harmony Estate- Umuchigbo bye-pass.
Others are Abakpa Nike Road-Liberty Junction- Ogwuagor- Uzo Aku Layout- Umuchigbo Harmony Estate Adoration Pilgrimage Centre, and Nike Lake Road- Ugwueke Junction- Igwe Edward Nnaji Palace- Enugu East Development Center-Amangwu Umuenwene – Oda Ngene- Umuchigbo Harmony Estate Adoration Pilgrimage Centre.
Gov. Ugwuanyi had inspected the designated road diversions to ensure their accessibility and readiness prior to closure of the Nike Lake/T-Junction road for construction work.
Clarifying further, the Information Commissioner, Aroh, noted that the state government has erected road signs and massive billboards to redirect motorists and road users accordingly, in the affected areas.
“Part of our responsibility is to once more inform the people that we are shutting down this road by 12 midnight; we have created five diversions; the announcements have been there in the radio; at the point of each diversion, we have put road signs; we are not stopping at that, we are going to put bigger billboards; we are going to ensure that our people don’t suffer too much while this massive work is going on,” Aroh said.
According to the Works Commissioner, “our responsibility in the next 48 hours is to ensure that work starts in earnest. Three links to T-Junction would be closed by 12 midnight today; part of why we are here is to see the preparedness of the contractor. Over there, you can see the concrete blockages, by tomorrow the actual setting out will begin.
“The five designated lanes for diversion are on air, we will all make sure that this big project is realized; Enugu people are waiting, the word is waiting, it is a state-of-the-art bridge and we can’t wait any longer to have it.
“The state government has been very proactive in planning for this construction; mid last year, we commissioned the first by-pass, Nike Road by-pass, it is in anticipation that we will do this project. From just after Nike Road, you head to Umuchigbo, Harmony Estate layout, Adoration Pilgrimage Centre and Orie Emene, it is one of the major roads that will take traffic, especially articulated vehicles. We advise all articulated vehicles to take that route.
“Then, if you are coming from NOWAS, get to Zenith Bank, UBA, you go left, then at a Roundabout, you turn and hit Dental Technology, then you tee off to Bishop Shanahan, that is on the lext axis, you now meet Ugbene 2, Ugbo Ndafe, then to Local Government Headquarters.
“If you are also coming from the Timber, very close to where we are now, we have recently put some culverts to ensure that people pass, in anticipation that this project will go through; when you pass through that place, you go through Igwe Edward Nnaji Palace, you now come to the Development Centre, you take the Old Road, and still hit Umuchigbo.
“If you are coming from Abakpa Nike, Nike Grammar School, you cross the bridge, you come to St. Theresa, you tee off to the right, to Ogwuago, from Ogwuago you go down to Ugwuaku Layout, you are at the same Nike Lake Harmony bypass.
“The collector road, the main road that takes all the traffic, it was our proactiveness to make sure that the road was done; you can now see the relevance, the vision of the Enugu State Government in doing things in order. That road was given a priority and it is now living up to expectations.
“We are appealing to our people to be patient with us; they should put enough care while passing through these roads; it is going to take some time but it is worth it.”
On his part, the project manager of IDC, Mr. Youssef Zghaib said the company was ready to hit the ground running, assuring that, “we were awarded this project with the duration of one year, but we promise to do our best to deliver within less than one year for sure.
“We don’t want to reach the deadline; with the promise that the funds are available, for sure we will try to deliver before the end of 2021, we deliver projects on time; we have the machines; what you see here is a very small sample of what you will see in the next two weeks.”
In a remark, the Chairman of Enugu East Local Government Area, Hon. Alex Ugwu commended Gov. Ugwuanyi for the landmark project, stressing: “Our able governor has done all the needful, the contractor will now go to the site, any structure he marks, we will inform the owner to remove it.