Gov. Peter Mbah of Enugu State says the Federal Government has started reconstruction work on the collapsed Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway bridge.
The governor said the reconstruction began with palliative work on one lane of the bridge that was still standing to ensure it was ready for use within the next 10 days.
Mbah said this when he and the Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi, paid a pre-reconstruction visit to the site on Thursday.
Mbah appreciated the minister and President Bola Tinubu for their prompt response to alleviate the hardship the collapsed bridge had caused road users.
“I thank Mr President and the 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 here to inspect and to identify areas of quick intervention the last time we came here; and I am happy now to announce that the minister has come to inform us again that work is going to start here on Friday.
“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.
“Effectively around the middle of next month, the full work on the bridges on both lanes will start,’’ he said.
Also, fielding questions from newsmen, Umahi described Mbah as a productive leader who had remained focused and applied pressure to ensure that the challenge was addressed.
The former Ebonyi governor, said: “let me thank the governor of Enugu State; a very productive man, and to congratulate him for his successes over the numerous distractions.
“Because of his strength and 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 the bridge,’’ he said.
The minister added that President Bola Tinubu had released money to be used for the palliative work in his 2023 Supplementary Budget.
“I know the governor is very eager to build the federal Enugu-Abakaliki Road. He has concluded the design and work will start in earnest.
“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,’’ Umahi said.