The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Saturday said repair works on a 600m stretch outbound the Kara Bridge section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway had been completed.
Fashola said the completed portion would be opened to traffic on Sunday because President Muhammadu Buhari had special interest in the important highway.
The Minister, represented by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, during the final inspection of the section, thanked road users and commended their patience during the construction period.
Motorists had on many days spent hours in gridlock on the road due to diversion caused by the roadworks since it started.
Fashola said the ministry in January, when the contractor returned to site after the Yuletide, had promised to complete the project in February and kept to its word.
He said: “We started work on this section middle of January and we promised Nigerians that by the end of February we should be able to complete this section of the road, and the section has been completed; today is the end of February.
“It is a promise made and a promise kept.
“We are opening this stretch tomorrow morning; what we have done now is taking you (journalists) round to see the completed work.
“The way we operate is that after completion of work, we go on a final inspection to ensure that everything has been done and that the road is now ready to receive traffic.
“For the opening of the highway to traffic tomorrow, we will start work as early as 7am and we expect that by 12 noon we should be through so that people who are going to work on Monday morning can enjoy the benefit.”
Fashola said a lot of effort went into the construction to ensure delivery of high quality road, stating that the foundation of the construction was 1.5 metres deep while expanding the road.
He said the construction was done in six weeks due to clemency of weather, promising that the manpower would be deployed to speed up work on other sections.
The minister said the entire project alongside additional works added would be completed in 2022.
He said the construction had taken care of the heavy axle load on the highway and the ministry would soon construct weigh bridges to regulate axle load.
While giving a brief of the project, Fashola said the ministry was targeting completing work on the Magboro end of the project by first week of March.
He said: “Work is going on at Ibafo and by first week of April, we should be able to complete work on this Mowe axis.
“And by the time we complete Mowe, we would have done all together about 31 to 32 kilometres out of the 43 kilometres.
“The idea behind it is that before the end of the year 2021, we would have completed the entire stretch.
“So, what would be left will be the old toll gate in Lagos up till Berger Junction here.
“Work has started on some of our additional works like the toll plazas, the under passes, the flyovers and the interchange which are the ones that will extend to 2022.
“By the end of December 2021, the main carriageway would have been completed.”
Fashola sought the cooperation of the media in adequate reportage and proper enlightenment of the public on construction works.
Also, First Lagos, a youth group which supports the Lagos State Government on security and transport matters, came out carrying their banner to show appreciation for the project.
Speaking with journalists, Oluwafemi Johnson, Secretary of the group, said they were pleased with the doggedness and hard work of Fashola in ensuring quality construction on the highway.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that construction works began on January 14 with the partial closure of the outbound Lagos portion on the Kara Bridge, resulting in traffic diversion.