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Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway reconstruction set to begin

Julius Berger construction company had been mobilised to resume work immediately on the Lagos section causing hardship.

Hardship being experienced on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway may soon end as the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, announced work resumption on the Lagos section.

The controller gave the assurance on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Lagos.

NAN reports that there has been outcry due to gridlock and accidents caused by craters doting various sections of the highway.

Mrs Agatha Okafor, an articles wholesaler at Alakuko joined other motorists and road users on the axis to call for urgent intervention on the dilapidated road.

Like other road users, Okafor also lamented the hike in transport fares and daily man hour lost to gridlock.

However, Popoola told NAN: “The story of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway will be different this week. We will move in to begin work.’’

He said that the Julius Berger construction company had been mobilised to resume work immediately on the Lagos section causing hardship.

He, however, did not specify which day of the week the work will resume.

The controller said that work was ongoing on the Ogun State section and that another team of construction workers would be moved to the Lagos section.

“It a major work they are going to carry out there; there is provision for payment for the project this year, and they are funding it with Sukuk as well,’’ he told NAN.

On the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Popoola said after inspecting the Mile 2 section on Thursday, the contractor was mobilised to site to begin permanent repairs.

“What they have been doing before on the Mile 2 Under Bridge section were palliatives which have not been surviving the rainy season, but right now, I have told them to carry out permanent work on that Mile 2 Bridge.

On Lagos-Badagry Expressway generally, there is an existing contract from Agbara toward Badagry, and the contractor travelled out and cannot return because of COVID-19,” he said.

“They left for their country during the holiday, some went for two weeks’ break; now, it is extending to more than five months because the pandemic broke out.

“It is not their making, it is not ours, they (contractors) are not even happy that such a thing happened,” he said.

According to Popoola, as countries have begun to reopen airports, they are expected to come back and work.

That is the challenge we have been having on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

“The palliatives which have been done several times are not surviving the raining season, the best thing is to do the permanent work,’’ he said.

The controller said the high water table on the axis and the whole of Lagos being a coastal area, affected road repairs.

“Our people need to change their attitude to stop dropping refuse in drains, it is compounding,’’ he added.

On accidents on the Kara Bridge section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Popoola blamed it on recklessness of articulated vehicle drivers and rickety vehicles.

He said that the Kara Bridge was wide enough, with about four lanes, adding that the road was being expanded to three lanes, thus increasing its carrying capacity.

“Drivers should drive more carefully,’’ he said.

On the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road project, Popoola said that efforts were on to pay money owed Arab Contractors handling the project to enable them to return to site soon.

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