Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, and The Bridges Construction (Part 2)




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Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, and
The Bridges Construction (Part 2)

In 1965, Julius Berger was awarded a contract to engineer, build and construct a major infrastructure project in Nigeria - the Eko Bridge in Lagos. This was the foundation of Julius Berger’s commitment to Nigeria.
Since then, the company has grown into a house hold name across Nigeria in structural engineering and infrastructure works.
But little is known about the world renowned construction magnate whose construction company - Julius Berger - built most of our bridges and many Nigerian edifices.
Julius Berger was born in 1862 in Zempelburg, a small town in Germany. His father sent him to Berlin at the age of 12 to take up an apprenticeship with a leather wholesale firm. He returned to the family transport business three years later in 1878.
He soon found himself more frequently transporting building materials instead of grain. It was this transportation of building materials that led to his becoming increasingly familiar with the construction industry.
When he had learned enough, he switched professions and started his own construction company named after him. Julius Berger came into Nigeria in August 1965.
The famous third Mainland Bridge was one of the many construction works of the architectural magnate. He died in 1942
About The Longest Bridge in Nigeria — The Third Mainland Bridge
The Third Mainland Bridge is one of the three bridges linking Lagos Island to the mainland. It is longer than the other two bridges, the Eko and Carter bridges.
The bridge starts from Oworonshoki and ends Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island. It was constructed by renowned engineering firm, Julius Berger and was commissioned in 1990 by General Ibrahim Babangida.
With a total length of 11.8 km, the Third Mainland Bridge is the longest in Nigeria and was the longest in Africa until 1996, when the 20.5 km long 6th October Bridge in Cairo was completed.
Even though the official name of the bridge is “Ibrahim Babangida Bridge”, it is rarely called by this name. The bridge records very high traffic on a daily basis.
Who built the first Niger Bridge?
This seemingly straight forward question about the Niger Bridge linking Onitsha in the South East and Asaba in the South-South has been eliciting a baffling answer from no less than our number one citizen. The only explanation for this may be the politics of re election for President Goodluck Jonathan.
With the 2015 election, our President, who never seems to give a damn about the important things bothering Nigerian citizens, is suddenly waking up to the reality of having to face the electorate again very soon. What does he tell us or specifically the Igbo who at one point he said were the ones that gave him the votes he got in the North and for whom, before the last election, he promised to build a second Niger Bridge?
it was clear that if anyone should take credit for the first Niger Bridge, it was the head of the first civilian government in Nigeria, the Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa whose government gave the contract for building the bridge to the French company at the cost of 5 million Nigerian pounds, a job that was executed in one year between 1964-1965. Indeed the commissioning of the first Niger Bridge which took place on the 4th of January 1966 was one of the last official assignments of the then Prime Minister before his assassination in the military coup of 15th January 1966.
Before the libations for the successful execution of the second Niger Bridge dries off, it may be good for the audience of Mr President to ponder on why in this day and age, the proposed 1.8 kilometre bridge should cost 117 billion naira and take 4 years to build, when the same company has built a 1.8 kilometre bridge on the Lagos lagoon for 29 billion naira? It is also good to remember that the flag off of the construction of the same bridge was done by former President Obasanjo a few weeks to the end of his term in 2007, something now repeated 7 years later.
The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola has finished building the first suspension bridge in Nigeria, making it another landmark in the history of the Federation. It cost about N29 billion and toll would be collected to recover the money expended on the project.
Lagos State Government led by the Governor had awarded the construction of the bridge to Julius Berger.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc began the construction of the bridge in October, 2008. The total length of the main bridge is 466m. The length of Cable Bridge is 170m (the suspended section), the height of Pyron is 87m from water level navigational requirement while the clearance average 9m above high water level.
The width of the bridge (carriageway) is 8m by 2; walkway of the bridge, 2.0m by 2; road works at Ikoyi End is 338.7m, while the road works at the Lekki End is 311.5m.
The new bridge that will soon be formally commissioned by Governor Babatunde Fashola is expected to decongest traffic in Lekki area of Lagos and will become a cynosure of all eyes because it was aesthetically and architecturally built.


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Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, and The bridges construction



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