Projects tour: Minister inspects Lagos-Ibadan expressway
.Construction firm creates 4,000 jobs
By Udeme Clement and Joel ThankGod
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has inspected Lagos-Ibadan expressway rehabilitation, reconstruction and expansion work, as part of his official tour to inspect Federal Government’s infrastructural projects across the country.
The Minister kick-started the tour with a visit to Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line. He also inspected the two sections of the expressway, from Lagos to Shagamu Interchange and Shagamu Interchange to Ibadan.
Briefing the Minister and his team, Mr. Noar Narkisis, the Project Engineer of the Reynolds Construction Company ,RCC, the contractor handling the Shagamu-Ibadan axis, said the work had reached 58.27percent completion.
Mr. Narkisis said, “RCC is currently working to expand and reinforce the road, in addition to building concrete drainages and repairing failed bridges. The work we are doing is rehabilitation and widening of the existing road, drainage work and we are also doing expansion work for bad bridges.”
He added, “The RCC is also doing maintenance of the existing carriageway to ensure free flow of traffic. Before the end of the year, the company will complete the asphalt-laying phase of the entire 84-kilometer sector. 4,000 jobs have been created as a result of the highway construction on section II alone”.
In the same vein, at the Shagamu Interchange, Mr. Wolfgang Losesser, the Division Manager of Julius Berger, the contractor handling section one from Lagos to Shagamu Interchange, said 17 kilometres of the 3-lane, 43-kilometre road had been completed.
He said, “From Shagamu driving toward here, the first 17 kilometres on the Lagos bound side has already been completed. Then you realise 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”.
Mr. Losesser stated, “In the next couple of days, massive construction work will commence and a huge interchange is being constructed to contain the vehicular traffic around the Redeem Christian Church of God. 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, “Section One of the road is 53 percent completed”.
In his remarks, the Minister explained, “The recent extension of the scope of work was in anticipation of the huge traffic coming out of Lagos to Shagamu interchange. 70 percent of the traffic coming to Lagos is from the Lagos-Shagamu Exchange, which is why Lagos-Shagamu comprises 3 lanes on each side while the Shagamu Ibadan comprises 2 lanes on each side”.
Alhaji Mohammed expressed happiness at the pace of work and called on the contractors to deliver on the projects as scheduled.
He said, “Accidents have reduced and security is enhanced, even with partial completion. Travel time would be further reduced when the road is completed, with the attendant positive impact for the economy”.