- It’s a promise kept- Minister
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has announced that the long abandoned Bill Clinton Driver Interchange Bridge along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (Airport road) has been completed and is now open for use by the public.
The FCT Minister Malam Muhammad Bello made this disclosure on Sunday while inspecting the completed the bridge.
Bello who was represented at the inspection by the FCDA Acting Director of Engineering Services Department, Engr. Shehu Ahmad Hadi, said the completion of work on the bridge was in fulfillment of the promise made to the residents of the FCT and to complement the effort of the Federal Government on easing traffic movement in and out of the Abuja Airport.
He said: “As you can see, we have made good our promise. We sought and got the commitment of the contractor that before the end of this month of June, they would have completed all works around here and opened the road to traffic.
“And now we want to confirm that the promise of the FCT Administration to deliver this segment of the road to the motorist of this axis to and from the Airport and from the airport into the city has been satisfactorily delivered and achieved”.
Bello said what is left at the interchange bridge is to put finishing touches to the electrical work especially the street lighting, adding that the contractor has been fully mobilized to attend to the electrical aspect and to also start the lane making which will be one of the features to show the road as having been fully completed and open to traffic.
“You might recall that before the coming of this present administration, this bridge together with this segment of the road, including some stretch towards the Gosa Village area had remained uncompleted. Traffic coming from the airport had to be redirected to go and take U-turn around the Giri axis of the road and then the traffic coming from Gwagwalada and going to the Airport was also diverted. What existed was some kind of clumsy arrangement around here because this portion had remained uncompleted, arising from non-payment of accrued liabilities to the contractor”, he said.
The minister noted that as soon as the present Administration came on board, it took cognizance of the importance of this road, especially for the airport in-bound and out bound traffic and started by clearing all the outstanding liabilities to the contractor which were successfully paid and they therefore came back and delivered the project.
On the benefits to be derived from the completed bridge, he said: “There is complete ease of traffic flow now. Before now, when you see the traffic build-up around here, you can imagine the time it takes for motorists to get into the city and close on time when they are going out, especially some people who have flight to catch at the airport. A lot of people have missed their flight because of the traffic holdup encountered along this road. But this bridge now has freed this road and people can say that at least, as far as we are concerned, it will enhance the economic activities along this stretch as well as free the lost man hour we used to encounter.
Bello remarked that the FCT Administration has also embarked on the a beautification of the entire stretch of the airport expressway as well as the Bill Clinton Drive, right from Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport into the city.
“The beautification seeks to adorn or give some kind of road furnishing in form of landscaping within the central median, at the buffer and as well as various interchange locations. By the time we are done with this beautification exercise, I think you can more or less compare this gateway road into the city to any world class city in the world”.