Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola has appealed for patience, orderliness and cooperation of motorists over reconstruction works on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He spoke as the contractor handling the Lagos end of the road, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, explained that the nature of the rehabilitation work on the long bridge necessitated the partial vehicular restrictions.
It said it required the complete scraping off and replacement of the asphalt surface (milling) and replacement of the expansion joints.
But Fashola, in a statement by his spokesman, Hakeem Bello, urged those plying the road to bear with the Federal Government and the contractor.
He said the present discomfort would eventually lead to a safer and smoother motoring experience when the project is completed.
The minister said following the gridlock of the last few weeks, the contractor has been working to adjust the barriers backward to make more room for traffic to move faster.
He added that in collaboration with other stakeholders, work was ongoing on the repairs of an alternative route to which smaller vehicles would be diverted.
Fashola urged the contractors to consciously plan to accommodate the expected high volume of traffic from on the road.
“Start calibrating your activities to prepare to take in that traffic; it will come. But the big one will come, I think, sometime by the end of the year when everybody is moving back from home. The target is to make that experience better than last year’s,” the minister said.
The minister underscored the steps that must be taken by the contractor to ensure safety on the roads.
“I need to see more safety signs, if you have to put reflective stickers especially for night time and lighting, please do so. We just want to reduce first, the number of casualties and accidents on the road, especially at night and during the day as well. We want to see how this can translate to better motoring experience,” he said.
The contractors, while giving an insight into its tight work schedule on the bridge, stated that the two main lanes under construction will be completed before the end of the year.
It added that the work on the other “narrow lanes” would be spread over the next four months for final delivery by the middle of December.
It appealed that, being a very challenging programme, which also depended on the weather condition, the cooperation of the stakeholders would be required.
Julius Berger Nigeria Plc resumed work on the expressway after moving away from the site for over 12 months, due to non-payment for work done by the previous administration.