By Ephraim Oseji
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Delta State and former governorship candidate, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, has traced the causes of Nigerian road failure to stereotypical engineering design.
Onuesoke, who made the statement when Officials of Project Implementation and Evaluation, Project Monitoring, Governor’s Office, headed by Hon Raymond Edijana visited Sector A of Ughelli-Asaba Road Dualisation Project recently, said not until Nigeria engineers deviate from using one particular designs in the construction of roads in different parts of Nigeria, the country will continue to experience the problem of road failure.
He explained that the construction of a road starts from conception, planning, and design, stressing that without a good design of the road the functionality of the road may not be achieved.
Onuesoke argued that even when the construction and supervision is adequate without the design process well done, the end product in the form of a road project will not be functional.
The PDP chieftain, who is the Special Project Director of Sector A of Ughelli-Asaba Road Project observed that most of the roads in the country are designed by consultants, some of who are not within the environment of the road work, adding that this has led to a situation where preliminary studies of the environment that will help the design and construction decisions are not done.
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“Consequently, they constrain their design to a particular style, which leads to poor understanding of the road environment and which subsequently leads to poor road design and construction.
“Designs that are meant for dry land areas like in the Northern part of the country for instance are equally applied to riverine areas of the Niger Delta region. Thus, if such design lasts ten years in the North, it will not last up to five years in the Nigeria Delta region because of the different environmental terrain,” Onuesoke explained.
He disclosed that for the road network to last longer and save it from early collapse, it requires good and efficient pragmatic engineering design frameworks that takes the different environmental terrain in the country into consideration.
Onuesoke advised that foreign road construction expatriates should be made to work side by side with local professional bodies that have more knowledge of the local environment, stressing that the professional bodies can even act as checks and monitors to the construction firm on road work in the country.