The contractor rehabilitating the Long Bridge at the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has promised to complete the task before the end of this month, the Federal Government has said.
It also stated that work on other “narrow lanes” in the section being handled by Julius Berger would be spread over the next four months for final delivery by the middle of December.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who disclosed this in a statement, also appealed for patience, orderliness and the cooperation of motorists as the rehabilitation and reconstruction work on the road progresses.
He noted that the contractor had explained that the rehabilitation work on the Long Bridge required the complete scraping and replacement of the asphalt surface, as well as the replacement of the expansion joints, a development that necessitated the partial restrictions on the bridge.
While giving an insight into its tight work schedule on the bridge, Julius Berger, according to the statement, said the two main lanes currently under construction would be completed by the end of August.
Julius Berger resumed work on the expressway recently, after vacating the site for over 12 months due to non-payment for work done by the previous administration.
After the settlement of the outstanding bills by the Federal Government, the contractor began full re-mobilisation procedure, which, according to the government, is currently being concluded with full action scheduled to commence from this week.
The government said in the statement, “However, even while the full re-mobilisation was ongoing, the contractor began the rehabilitation of the Long Bridge section of the road by scraping off the asphaltic surfacing (milling), removing the expansion joints and replacing same with new ones, and preparing the bridge for new asphalt.
“In order to achieve this, one half of the Lagos-bound section of the bridge was blocked to traffic with the use of median crash barriers, which allows for only two normal vehicles to pass at the same time.
“However, as some articulated vehicles either move slowly or break down, traffic backlog develops, which eventually result in chaotic traffic situation when some motorists attempt to overtake even within the narrow space.”
While appealing for patience, and orderliness on the part of motorists, Fashola urged road users to bear with the Federal Government and the contractors as the current temporary discomfort would eventually lead to a safer and smoother motoring experience when the reconstruction work was completed.