Fashola lauds repairs of `Long Bridge’ on Lagos-Ibadan road

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has commended Julius Berger for completing the rehabilitation of the `long bridge’ on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, ahead of schedule.

Fashola, who spoke at Warewa, Ogun State, yesterday, while inspecting the fully asphalted 2500 metres “Long Bridge’ section, expressed happiness with the level of work done by Julius Berger, the contractor handling the project.

According to him, the bridge which was opened to traffic yesterday well before the December 31 deadline will give commuters better journey experience.

The minister thanked road users for their understanding during the period of construction, as the diversions and partial restrictions on the construction zones had caused them some hardship.

Fashola explained that Julius Berger could not close the road because of its importance and so, had to manage the heavy traffic, while it went on with the repairs.

He said that the firm had to deploy about 50 trailers to and from the site daily, moving materials in and out, adding that, over 3,600 trips were made to ensure a speedy completion.

“The bridge has been asphalted but the work is not finished. It is a 4,500-metre bridge on both sides and they still have to install some joints.

“About 44 on one side and 44 on the other side. Their contract also extends to kilometre 46 to Sagamu; they are asphalting between kilometre 30 to 33.’’

He, however, appealed to road users to avoid reckless driving, to stem accidents throughout the yuletide season.

Meanwhile, the completed sections of the Lagos/Badagry Expressway project would be opened to motorists in the first quarter of 2017, to ease traffic congestion.

A top official of China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the contractors handling the project told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos yesterday that phases one and two of the road project, which cover the Iganmu Interchange and the Trade Fair, would be completed by 2017.

He added that the third phase of the project, which covers between the Trade Fair and Okokomaiko, is, however, scheduled for completion by 2019.

The official, however, said that certain challenges had delayed the project in the past.

“We have been having challenges on the road project and that has resulted to some delay in our work.

“We had to stop work for three years, from 2013 to this year, to allow NNPC to relocate their pipelines buried between Alakija and Abule-Ado.

“They finally completed the relocation of those pipelines in October, and you can see for yourself that serious work is going on there now,’’ he said.

He said that the third phase of the project was also experiencing delays at the Military Cantonment in Ojo.

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