By Desmond Ejibas
The Federal Government has assured early completion of the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway that cuts across Enugu, Abia and Rivers states.
John Fadere, Federal Controller of Works in Rivers and Head Supervisor of the project gave the assurance while inspecting the Oyibo, Rivers stretch of the project on Sunday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the project is one of the 25 critical roads in six geopolitical zones financed by the Federal Government under the N100 billion Sukuk Fund road interventions.
Fadere said the 41.4 kilometre Aba-Port Harcourt (section four) stretch of the entire Enugu-Port Harcourt Road project had attained 21 per cent completion.
“The section four of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Road project, awarded in 2015, starts from Aba and ends at Eleme Flyover in Port Harcourt, covering a distance of 41.4 kilometres.
“As at today, we have achieved 21 per cent completion of the road project while the contract period has rising to about 70 per cent.
“The project is expected to be completed before the end of 2022,” he said.
He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in 2018 approved the upgrade of some section of the Aba-Port Harcourt Road project to eight lanes.
“So, 13 kilometres section of the road project stretching from Imo River (Abia/Port Harcourt boundary) to Eleme Flyover in Port Harcourt has been upgraded to eight lanes.
“The upgrade was sequel to challenges the project encountered before take-off. First was the ever increasing traffic density on the road and problem of surface water.
“We know that Rivers state soil water is very close to the surface. This makes it difficult for rain water to sink into the ground after rain,” he said.
Fadere assured that the contractor handling the project was working hard to complete the construction of 26 kilometre concrete drain to end flooding in the area.
Also speaking, Godwin Eke, the South-South Zonal Director of Federal Highway, described the project as a strategic road that connects South South states to commercial city of Aba and other South Eastern states.
According to him, the eight lane highways when completed would ease both human and vehicular traffic as well as boost commercial activities in the regions.
“We appeal to motorists to exercise patience as the road would soon be completed. The project made tremendous progress considering challenges it has faced,” he pleaded.
Mr Zou Xiaowei, the Project Manager, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), assured that the project would be completed according to specification before the 2022.
He said the road when completed would last for period of 50 years. (NAN)