Motorists plying the Niger- Bridge on Tuesday raised the alarm over the vibrations of the bridge even as the lockdown order by the federal government persists.
The commercial vehicle operators including private car owners plying the Onitsha bridge head, who spoke to our correspondent, said that the vibration of the bridge clearly shows that the situation may portend grave danger if steps are not taken to ensure that the situation returns to normal.
They also called on the federal government to expedite action towards the completion of the Second Niger Bridge to avoid major traffic congestion, adding that despite the lockdown order, the current situation had poses serious threat to the lives of those driving on the bridge.
According to the drivers, the bridge was currently vibrating due to the weight of heavy duty vehicles and other vehicles trapped on the bridge, warning that if nothing is done to ensure the completion of the Second Niger-Bridge, the bridge may some day collapse.
A driver, Francis Ikechukwu said that ” the bridge is weak due to the heavy traffic over the years and if nothing is done, it may collapse.
“There is always hold up on the bridge head and with many heavy duty trucks conveying goods, the situation may also lead to loss of lives and property. The bridge is vibrating each time vehicles drive on it and it is becomes disturbing.”
A civil servant in Anambra state, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, described the bridge as a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
He said: “Do you know that the Niger Bridge is vibrating now? If you are caught in traffic on the bridge, you will notice your car vibrating. The bridge is completely weak and can no longer withstand the pressure from vehicles.
“I go to Onitsha every day except this lockdown period for my work from Asaba, so I don’t know what will happen to the bridge if the vibration persist and there is no response.”
Mr. Philip Okafor, a commercial bus driver running the Asaba to Onitsha route, said: “The federal government should fast-track the construction of the Second Niger Bridge.
“In fact, each time I drive on the bridge, I will be praying hard inside me; the situation is terribly a bad omen. If nothing is done, it will spell doom one day.
“The bridge is vibrating now, it means it is very weak and cannot survive another test of time, hence the federal government should do something about it very urgently.”
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Works in Asaba, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, described the situation of the bridge as pathetic.
“The bridge is vibrating now and it is receiving the attention it needs. We are working seriously on it and we cannot speak further on the situation,” they stated.