The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), on Monday commended Julius Berger for completing the rehabilitation of the `long bridge’ on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, ahead of schedule.
Fashola gave the commendation while inspecting Section One of the project which spans from Lagos to the Sagamu Interchange, which is being handled by Julius Berger.
Fashola lauded the company’s efforts in completing the repairs ahead of the initial completion date of Dec. 31 and immediately opening the road to traffic.
He 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.
“I also want to thank commuters who endured stress during the repairs and want to appeal that as the bridge is open to traffic, you will see that your sacrifice was worth it; you will have better motoring experience even as work continues,” he said.
The Minister 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.
“We had a completion time line of Dec. 31 to finish this work but our contractor had doubled their efforts and they have now finished the first phase of the work on the long bridge.
“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 ashalting between kilometre 30 to 33.
“The reason for my coming is to thank the contractor because they said they are going to open this place to traffic today.
“This is well ahead of the Dec. 31 date and they did this, being sensitive to the heavy movement that takes place on this road during Christmas,” he said.
He thanked the governments of Lagos and Ogun for their support in repair and providing logistics to ease congestion on the highway during the construction.
The Minister also thanked the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Police and other law enforcement and traffic management agencies, as well as ministry officials for their efforts which both eased gridlock and improved security.
He, however, appealed to road users to avoid reckless driving, to stem accidents throughout the yuletide season.
The minister said that the rainy season slowed down the project but urged road users to expect more repairs with the improvement in weather on both section one of the project being handled by Julius Berger and section two, which spans from the Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan, being handled by the Reynolds Construction Company.
He also disclosed that more repairs would go on across all roads in the country.
Earlier, the Julius Berger Project Manager, Mr Wolfgang Panzer, while presenting a brief on the project, explained that asphalt layers were increased on some portions, to ensure stability and durability.