Akinpelu Dada and Rasheed Bisiriyu
Contractors handling the re-construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Julius Berger Plc and Raynolds Construction Company (Nigeria), are back on site in continuation of the job.
Julius Berger’s men were seen working at the Redemption Camp and Arepo areas at the Lagos end of the road on Friday. But the work was more of a palliative as the firms only attended to the failed sections of the road. No reconstruction or expansion was done.
The News Agency of Nigeria also indicated in a report on Sunday that while palliative work was ongoing at the failed spots around the Redemption Camp area of the road, major construction work was being done at the Arepo area.
The repair on the Arepo spot caused gridlock on the Long Bridge on Friday and travellers spent about two hours moving from the Berger Bus to Arepo, a distance that should take less than seven minutes.
It was, however, not clear the role of the Ogun State Government in the return of Julius Berger to the site. A signpost erected by the state government was still at the Arepo spot as of Sunday, showing that it was responsible for the palliative work.
Julius Berger is handling Section One of the project, which stretches from the Sagamu Inter-Change to Lagos, while RCC is in charge of Section Two, stretching from the Sagamu Inter-Change to Ojoo, Ibadan.
Motorists have clamoured for an early completion of the road, which is about the busiest highway in the country.
A source at the Julius Berger end of the road, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the company was back on the road for good, saying: “It is time to move forward on the project.”
The expected date for the completion of the project, which is being financed through Public-Private Partnership, is July 3, 2017.
Meanwhile, motorists and commuters who use the road have continued to appeal to the Federal Government to speed up work to make travelling on the road pleasurable.
A commercial vehicle driver plying the road daily, Ojo Agege, told NAN that it was high time the government ensured the speedy completion of the project.
Another commercial driver, Lateef Mohammed, said motorists would continue to have nightmares on the road until the Federal Government fixed it.
“All we are saying is that the government should help to fast-track the construction of the road to ease the delay being experienced daily by travellers,” he said.
A female trader, Simisola Joseph, expressed optimism that with the coming of Babatunde Fashola as Power, Works and Housing Minister, the construction would soon be completed.
A driver, Femi Ajegun, told NAN that vehicular movement was now easy with the completion of work on some critical areas at the Ibadan end of the road.
“With the quality of job done and removal of long stretch of diversion by the RCC, motorists and travellers now experience some pleasurable ride,” he said.
Sule Maito, a bus passenger, at Ogere area of the road, told NAN that if the contractor could continue with the way it was going, the job would be completed on schedule.
The Federal Ministry of Works last week, after a meeting of stakeholders with the Presidency, said that the government had committed N50bn to the project.
The ministry promised that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the completion of the rehabilitation on time.
Source: Punch Newspaper.