FG reaffirms November delivery date of N73bn Apapa-Oworonshoki expressway project
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the N73 billion project in November 2018 to address gridlock on the axis, promising to deliver it in two years.
During an inspection of the highway, on Wednesday, in Lagos, Popoola said that the road had achieved varied proportions of completion levels on different sections.
He explained that the progress was better to be presented in segments, but that a merger brought the entire projects to about 40 per cent completion level.
“On section one here, we have achieved about 22 per cent completion and on section three, it is about 55 per cent.
“On section four, we have achieved about 20 per cent completion,’’ he said.
On the completion date, the controller quoted the Minister, Mr Babatunde Fashola, as saying “it is still November this year’’.
While inspecting section one of the project, Popoola said “we are carrying out purification; which means, we removed the existing asphaltic concrete, add the stone base and now lay it’’.
He explained that several layers of construction went underneath, with up to eight inches thickness of concrete, to make the rigid pavement strong for durability.
The controller said that because of the huge vehicular and axle load on Apapa roads, the design was made to have iron rods as reinforcement to make the road stronger than normal asphaltic roads.
He said that the project had created about 600 direct jobs and over 1,000 indirect jobs, thereby improving the livelihoods.
He further explained that the project, being handled by the Dangote Group, had reduced travel time because completed sections that had been opened to traffic and had eased congestion on the axis.
The controller also inspected section four, which is about 10.5 kilometres and spans from Anthony Village to Old Toll Gate.
According to him, the award of contract for section two is being processed.
“Section two, which spans from Beachland to Cele bus stop, is not part of this contract, but it is being processed and very soon, work will begin there.
“We are completing sections one, three and four in November 2020,’’ he restated.
While inspecting section four, Popoola said that the team had gone round Tin Can Island Port, Liverpool Road and various sections and subsections of the highway.
He said that skeletal work continued on the project during the COVID-19 lockdown, adding that, full capacity operations were still hampered.
According to him, this is because some staff were trapped in other states and could not return due to inter-state travel restrictions.
“However, the workers resident in Lagos are coming to site.
“We have over 600 workers working here and it has improved the economy,’’ he said.
He appealed to Lagos residents to take ownership of the project and stop all forms of road abuses.
He decried dumping of refuse in drains of the ongoing project and others across the state while soliciting the support of residents on proper refuse disposal.
During an inspection of the 2.7 kilometres segment on section one B, Mr Ashton Davies, the Project Manager, Hitech subcontractors on the project, said that the technology used ensured continuity.
Davies explained that “with the concept of continued reinforcement pavement, there is no breakage and there is a continuation of the concrete’’.
He added that various completed sections could easily be linked.
Some road users who spoke to journalists expressed satisfaction with the speed of work on the project.
Mr Adelani Friday, a data analyst, called on the government to replicate rigid roads across the nation.
Also, Mr Gafar Olakunle, a truck driver that plies the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, commended the quality of work being done.
Olakunle called on other private sector concerns to partner with the government on road construction as the Dangote Group has done.
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