The on-going Lagos-Ibadan highway construction project has reached 58 per cent completion and created over 4,500 direct and indirect jobs.
The contractors handling the road disclosed this when the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed inspected the 127km road projects.
Our correspondent reports that Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc is handling Section one: Lagos to Shagamu, while the second section of the road from Shagamu to Ibadan is being handled by Messrs Reynoid Construction Company (RCC).
The section one being constructed by Julius Berger has a total of 43km with total contract sum of over N134 billion, while section two by RCC spans 84km with over N96 billion contract sum.
Addressing the minister at the Shagamu interchange of the road in Ogun, RCC project manager, Mr Naor Narkisi said the project had reached 58.27 per cent completion.
Speaking specifically on the section being handled by RCC, Narkisi said that 57km length of asphalt had been laid with an aggregate of 23,347 tons of bitumen and 18,730 tons of cement used.
He said 770,21 tons of reinforcement was used while they had constructed two bridges on the road.
On the workforce, he said RCC engaged 12 expatriates working on the site with 748 direct labour and 3740 indirect manpower.
Narkisi said he was confident that if they could not deliver the road by the end of the year, substantial work would have been done.
For his part, Mr Wolfgang Loesser, Julius Berger Divisional Manager, West, and the project manager said the company would resume fully on site in two days, first, with works on drainage system and traffic control
He said so far, 17km of three lanes on each side of the road had been fully completed.
As a solution to the harrowing traffic experiences at the Redeemed Christian Church of God camp axis of the road, Loesser said a large interchange would be constructed for control.
“Every Friday, there is a big church gathering in that axis and hundreds of thousands of people are coming there with their cars.
“There will be a very big interchange in order to stop the clogging which happens every Friday and, therefore, accommodate the church goers.
“The exchange will allow them to do a U-turn, while those going straight will not be obstructed,’’ he said.
The project manager said that the thickness of the road was a new design jointly made by his company and RCC with “additional 15 cm tough asphalt layer below the normal asphalt layers’’.
“You have the double width of thickness of the base course while the asphalt and mixture have been modified.
“Normally, in Nigeria’s road construction, you build with 25cm of base course and the asphalt layers, but in this new design, we have 40cm.
“We carried out a lot of laboratory tests to modify the bitumen to prevent rotten caused by heavy trucks and articulated vehicles,’’ he said.
Loesser said it was the first time the special asphalt mixture was being used in road construction in Nigeria and it was done to reinforce the road against damages by heavy duty lorries, trucks and tankers.
On the lifespan of the road, he said it was designed with standard for a period of 20 years.
The minister said the government as well as the contractors and consultants understood the importance of the road corridor to the economy of the nation and would leave no stone unturned for its completion.
He said the road contract was awarded in 2013, but since the new administration took over the project in 2015, the amount of progress made had been phenomenal.
“We will continue to work with the contractors and consultants to ensure speedy delivery of this project,’’ he said.
The minister explained why the Julius Bergers’ section one of the road contract with 43km had a higher contract sum than the RCC’s section two with 84km.
According to him, the section one, Lagos to Shagamu exchange carried
70 per cent of the traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
The minister said that the section one was significant and different in many effects, in terms of traffic, schools, churches, bridges, interchanges and pedestrian crossing.