The Lagos-Ibadan expressway construction work has hit 58% completion level.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, as well as construction companies handling the works, have confirmed.
The Minister on Wednesday continued the inspection of Nigerian Government’s infrastructural projects across the country assured citizens that once completed; the road will ease off the traffic gridlock around the road and in turned boost economic activities.
While briefing the Minister and his team, the contractor handling the Shagamu-Ibadan axis and the Project Engineer of the Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), Mr. Noar Narkisis said the work had reached 58.27% completion.
He said the RCC is currently working to expand and reinforce the road, in addition to building concrete drainages and repairing failed bridges, stating that: “The work we are doing is the rehabilitation and widening of the existing road, drainage work and we are doing expansion work for bridges and also repairing failed bridges.”
Mr. Narkisis, who said the RCC is also doing maintenance of the existing carriageway to ensure a free flow of traffic, gave the assurance that before the end of the year, the company will complete the asphalt-laying phase of the entire 84-kilometer sector.
The Project Engineer told the Minister that 4,000 jobs have been created as a result of the highway construction on Section II alone.
At the Shagamu Interchange, the contractor handling Section I from Lagos to the Shagamu Interchange and the Division Manager of Julius Berger, Mr. Wolfgang Losesser said 17 kilometers of the three-lane, 43-kilometer road had been completed.
“From Shagamu driving toward here, the first 17 kilometers on the Lagos bound side has already been completed. Then you realize that it has gone back to the old two lanes. Here we are just doing some palliative work because the rainy season is coming and we are working on the drainage,” he said.
Mr. Losesser said in the next couple of days, massive construction work will commence and disclosed that a huge interchange is being constructed to contain the huge vehicular traffic around the Redeem Christian Church of God.
He also said for the first time in Nigeria, a special mixture of asphalt is being used to prevent the road from caving in, due to the movement of heavy-duty vehicles and to extend the lifespan of the road to 20 years.
The Divisional Manager said the Section I of the road is 53% completed.
Minister of Information and Culture explained that the recent extension of the scope of work was in anticipation of the huge traffic coming out of Lagos to the Shagamu interchange.
“Some 70% of the traffic coming to Lagos is from the Lagos-Shagamu Exchange, which explains why the Lagos-Shagamu comprises three lanes on each side while the Shagamu-Ibadan comprises two lanes on each side,” he said.
Mr. Mohammed expressed happiness at the pace of work and called on the contractor to deliver on the project as scheduled.
He said already, travel time on the expressway has been reduced, accidents have reduced and security is enhanced, even with partial completion and that travel time would be further reduced when the road is completed, with the attendant positive impact for the economy.
– Sammie Idika I VON