NAN – The Federal Government is to take over reconstruction and expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, said on Monday.
The minister said this in Lagos during a slide presentation of work on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway by Julius Berger Plc.
The presentation took place at the company’s office complex in Ijora.
Onolememen said that a new project design that involved five other ECOWAS member-countries was being undertaken.
He gave the assurance that the project would soon be implemented.
The minister said that a regional effort would be the best way to handle the road project.
He said that he was the Chairman of a five-member Country Project Steering Committee on the project.
“We will definitely get into the construction stage; at that time, all the challenges the Lagos State Government is having on that road will be a thing of the past because we will construct that road,“ he said.
The minister directed Julius Berger to complete rehabilitation of the Apapa/Oshodi Expressway in the next eight weeks.
“Take remedial works into consideration; three months is too far and would be chaotic, considering the ember months; maybe, you should look for ways to get less construction time.
“Let us see if we can terminate the emergency works by November,“ he said.
While inspecting the road, the minister said that rigid pavement was being used to reconstruct the road to cater for new load capacity which was not envisaged when the road was built in the 1970s.
He said that the Federal Government decided to take drastic measures to rehabilitate the road due to public outcry, following perennial gridlock on the road in June and July.
He said that the completion of a trailer park in Lagos was important as it would accommodate about 500 trucks and decongest the highway.
“Given the clemency of weather, Julius Berger should be able to finish emergency repairs in another eight weeks.
“The new design takes cognizance of heavy traffic.
“Rigid pavement would be used to fight the menace of surface and underground water prevalence on the road,“ he said.
The Lagos State Government embarked on expansion of the Lagos-Badagry Road from four to 10 lanes on April, 2009.
Construction of a light rail line and a Bus Rapid Transit corridor is part of the project, to enhance tourism and economic activities on this axis.