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How Traffic Congestion On The Niger Bridge Was Reduced


How Traffic Congestion On The Niger Bridge Was Reduced by the state government

The traffic congestion on the popular Niger Bridge had been a topic of discussion for years mostly for the people that do travel between the south-south and south-east regions of the country.

The most affected individuals are the businessmen and women having business activities between the two regions.


It can be recalled/remembered in the year 2005 when the buses travelling have to spend a whole day just crossing from the city of Asaba to Onitsha. Though it happened in the past the memory of that incident never leave my mind.

The bridge which was re-built after Nigeria and Biafra civil war was done when the country still have enough money in their reserve, It was learnt that it was among the structures re-built during the Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s embankment for rehabilitation and re-construction projects immediately after the civil war.

It was also learnt that it was during this period that Nigeria had a boom in crude oil production and the price of crude than was high, such that the government was able to save enough for its huge projects.

Taking a look at the bridge, a good engineer would confirm that it made it a very solid structure such that it could carry any weight on it without a sign of fatigue.

Though analysts have it that, its strength has reduced such that in the future it may collapse following the loads it normally carries every day as a result of traffic congestion, this claim has not been proven in a scientific manner that could convince most engineers.

The bridge has multiple lines of beams with an average thickness of 30mm and 100mm widths. Followed by concrete pillars of about 9000cm3 by volume up to about ten pieces such pillars. In addition, their foundations lay beneath the water bed, yet there has been tension among the users of the bridge on its possible collapse one day.


From calculations in regard to the traffic that does occur on this bridge, it was discovered that during the yuletide season the bridge may be filled up with the commercial bus, private vehicles, petroleum tankers or other industrial vehicles for hours waiting for the roads at either side of the bridge to become free.

When the estimate of the possible mass of all those vehicles is put together they could be reading in trillions of tons in weight. However, the question is, would such mass cause the collapse of such a massive bridge even if they are to stand on the bridge for days?

The traffic congestion made the city of Onitsha become boring since many people do not see commercial vehicles to convey them after the whole day’s stress of buying and selling as a result they are left with no other option than to start trekking to their various houses with legs.

This was the situation then until the intervention of the then Anambra state government, who expanded the bridge entrances and multiplied the lane of the road up to six at the Onitsha terminal and the lane was maintained up to the upper-iweka junction and even beyond.

The then government received a lot of applause for that such that the president was invited for its commissioning.

Today that expansion has done a lot in reducing the traffic congestion within the Onisha axis, such that during the day individuals and vehicles can freely cross the bridge without obstructions, however that did not totally eliminate congestion during the evening hour especially between 6 pm to 10 pm and during yuletide periods.

However, most of the congestion that does occur these days are due to either damaged vehicle on the road, accident, or activities of security agents in trying to checkmates any illegality among those crossing the bridge in the evening hour.

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