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Bridges, road repairs in Lagos suffer over Covid-19 fear

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The new Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola on Friday said that some construction giants handling major road projects in Lagos were “shutting down site “over Coronavirus pandemic.

Popoola in a telephone interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) listed the firms to include Julius Berger (JB), Reynolds Construction Company Ltd., (RCC) and CGC Nigeria Ltd., among others.

The controller said that the firms had in a circular to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing on Thursday notified the ministry that the sites would close down due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

He said that Julius Berger had completed ongoing rehabilitation works on the Independence Bridge and opened it to traffic on March 22.

“We were working on the Independence Bridge but we completed work and opened the Bridge to traffic on Sunday morning after we completed the last trunk of the asphalt laying,’’ he said.

He, however, lamented that the firm would suspend ongoing rehabilitation works on the Ijora Olopa Ramp under Eko Bridge as well as planned rehabilitation of the Marine Bridge in Apapa due to the site closure.

“Julius Berger is closing down all its’ site today, they are moving out of site, so from tomorrow you will not see any of them on site. They informed us yesterday and said it was because of Coronavirus.

“CGC is not on site, they have closed down, and they too served us the circular yesterday. RCC has also closed down.

“We were to work on Ijora Olopa Ramp this weekend and we had even closed a section of the bridge in preparation for the work but because Julius Berger is shutting down in compliance with their management directive, we had to reopen the bridge because work cannot be done now.

“Julius Berger is still working on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to make sure that the road become motorable soonest but they will stop work today. JB will move out of site,’’ Popoola told NAN.

He said that rehabilitation and reconstruction works which were progressing on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway would also have to be suspended.

He, however, noted that, Hitech sub contractor handling the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonsoki Expressway reconstruction and rehabilitation project on behalf of the Dangote Group was the only firm still on site.

The controller expressed hope that the firm would remain on site and not serve any closure notices since it was complying with the restriction of the number of workmen permitted on site per time.

Speaking on the Alaka/Eko Bridge, he said that materials for repairs being imported from China was being slowed down by the same COVID-19 pandemic and that the materials had not arrived in Nigeria.

He appealed to Lagos residents to comply with government directive to end the raging scourge of the virus in Nigeria while pledging his commitment to clean highway drains to combat flooding.

The controller said that massive desilting of highway drains would begin across Lagos to avert flooding but appealed to residents to shun drain stuffing habits.

Popoola also pledged his commitment to ensuring smooth roads in Lagos, saying: “My vision is to see that all our roads and bridges in Lagos are maintained timely, we will attend swiftly to failures on roads and bridges to ensure they are smooth always.

“We will ensure we monitor all drainage facilities to ensure there is no blockade.

“We are going to take the issue of desiliting very seriously because we do not want flooding, so I am appealing to all residents of Lagos to please not drop refuse inside drains so that we will not record flooding during the rainy season’’.


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