Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio has appealed to protesting Niger Delta youths to bear with the Federal Government, assuring that adequate intervention steps are being taken to address the deplorable state of the Eleme-Onne Section of the East-West Road.
Akpabio who made this appeal while meeting with the Ogoni Ethnic Nationality Stakeholders recently, assured of the completion of the project by 2022.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Babayo Ardo, informed that with the review of the initial contract scope of works and contract unit rates imperative, specific measures for addressing the contingent site conditions militating against the progress of work.
Conveying the efforts of the federal government on the progress of work on the upgrading of 15 km Portharcourt to Onne Port Junction Section lllA of the ongoing East-West Road Dualization project contract, the minister noted that the initial contracts for dualization of the 338 km road linking Warri to Oron through Kaima, Ahoada, Portharcourt, Ogoni and Eket Townships (Sections 1-1V) was initially awarded in four sections to four different contractors in 2006.
“lt is well known that Section 1 (Warri – Kaima covering km. 0+000-Km.15+000 was not part of the contract initially awarded in 2006 because it was in good condition having been dualized earlier, noting that over time, the Portharcourt – Onne junction portion had progressively deteriorated as a result of heavy axle loading, flooding and is no longer serviceable for the current traffic volumes. Therefore, the Ministry had to award the Contract for additional works to Messrs RCC Nigeria Limited to upgrade the Portharcourt Onne Port Junction.
“The initial design for interchange bridges at Onne Junction is to be substituted with a flyover bridge due to space constraints caused by the newly constructed Power Sub-Station which cannot be relocated due to higher cost implication Interchange Bridge initially designed for Refinery Junction.
“New flyover bridge has been designed for Akpajo intersection (Km. 4+975) The scope of works includes and is not limited to; Widening the road from 2-lane dual carriage to a 3-lane dual carriageway; Increasing the thickness of the asphalt layer; Constructing interchange bridges at Refinery and Onne Port Junction to smoothen traffic flow; Constructing a new 51 m long reinforced concrete bridge on Port Harcourt- bound carriageway at Aleto; Construction of a 128 m and 168 m long deck-on-pile bridges at Km.59+500 and Km.61+000,” he said.
He further stated that due to poor annual budgetary provisions, the contract for upgrading of Section IIIA awarded in 2014 could not commence until the ministry paid the contractors the full mobilization advance in 2020. Hence, the condition of the road deteriorated during the period of delay and there has been serious encroachment on the right-of-way initially delineated for the road.
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