Before the Oju/Loko-Oweto Bridge was built, a journey by car from Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to Enugu, the capital of Enugu State, took about 6 hours. Now, with the 1,835-meter-long bridge in place, it only takes 3.5.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Works and Housing entered a joint venture with SBI Holdings International AG through its subsidiary, Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria (RCC), to construct a dual carriageway bridge over the River Benue linking Oju/Loko (in Nasarawa State) to Oweto (in Benue State). SBI managed every aspect of the project—from planning and financing to design and construction.
The project’s scope included:
● Construction of two two-lane dual carriageway bridges
● Construction of two two-lane approach roads, one on the Loko end and one on the Oweto end
● Construction of an island road in between the two bridges
● Provision and installation of street lights
● Construction of precast concrete pipe culverts
● Construction of earthworks and concrete works
● Reinforcement of the bridge’s structures
SBI finished construction of the bridge in March 2022. The new Oju/Loko-Oweto Bridge significantly reduces travel time for millions of commuters and commercial vehicles and supports economic growth and development in Oju, Loko, Oweto and the surrounding communities.
Challenge: Rainfall, Flood Disturbances, and Security
Due to heavy rainfall, the River Benue’s waters had risen to unprecedented levels, and the surrounding roads had flooded. Additionally, security issues were rampant throughout Northern Nigeria, and the effects had reached to Nasarawa and Benue States, potentially putting the construction team at risk.
SBI’s Solution: Quality Bridge Building
Using data from consolidation analysis and prediction, SBI developed a custom strategy for building the new bridge. We created a plan that accounted for possible consolidation settlements under the embankment loads.
Because of the time difference between the two constructions on either side of the bridge, our plan included accounting for differential settlements. We also conducted thorough boring and laboratory testing.
To ensure the safety of all personnel, equipment, and materials, SBI collaborated closely with the Nigerian Army during and after the construction period.
Throughout the project, SBI employed high-quality materials and our own advanced machinery (to prevent any procurement delays), along with SBI’s unparalleled engineering, construction, and project management expertise.
SBI’s scope of work included:
● Conducting earthworks tests
● Drilling and boring
● Laying the geogrid mesh, stone base, and asphaltic layer
● Casting the concrete crash barrier, and concrete drains and chutes
● Constructing two two-lane bridges
Heavy rainfall and flooding called for extra protective measures to ensure the safety and integrity of the bridge. Therefore, per SBI’s recommendations, the bridge now features:
● A rapid-draining pavement structure that reduces moisture damage
● Drainage ditches higher than the flooding level
● 30cm-high edge support protection for the island area
Corporate Social Responsibility
As part of SBI’s commitment to social responsibility (CSR)—and in compliance with Nigerian law—we created a Community Development Agreement to give back to the host communities and minimize the project’s environmental impact. Our CSR initiatives included:
● Employment of local youths
● Drilling water boreholes for the Oju, Loko and Oweto communities
● Financial empowerment for business owners and traders
● Respect for traditional courtesies and festive periods
● Distribution of COVID-19 palliatives
Results: A modern bridge uniting the country
Completed in March 2022, the Oju/Loko-Oweto Bridge features major structural improvements that ensure a durable and reliable roadway residents and businesses can depend on for years to come.
The project created over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs in the area. While the upgrades yielded immediate economic and social benefits, we’re also excited about the long-term opportunities the new bridge will generate for Nigeria.