The Federal Government has blamed heavy rainfall and gridlock for the delay in completing the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the end of April.
The Director, Federal HighWays, South West at the Ministry of Works and Housing, Adedamola Kuti, disclosed this on a television programme on Sunday.
After failing to meet up with the December 2022 deadline for the completion of the road project, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had set a new completion date of April 30.
Kuti said that the April deadline was not met because of rain and heavy traffic.
“The earlier completion date of 30th of April which is today (Sunday), we were unable to meet that target because of some factors, majorly the heavy rain which we experienced since March and April and of course the unexpected heavy traffic,” he said.
He, however, assured motorists plying the route that the Federal Government was determined to complete the project but said he could not give an exact date of completion as he could not predict the weather.
“So, as we move into the next month (May), we expect that the rain will still be heavy and it will be a bit difficult but what we want to assure motorists is that we are determined to complete this project, we are fully on ground.
“As a matter of fact, we opened access in the OPIC axis, that is from the Kara Bridge to the Long Bridge and what is left is just about a kilometre as you enter Lagos and then maybe another two kilometres as you are leaving Lagos and we are fully determined with enough men on ground to achieve this,” Kuti stated.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Sunday appealed for the patience and understanding of motorists on account of the heavy traffic being experienced on the stretch from Toll Gate to Kara, as reconstruction work on the expressway enters its final phase.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communications, Hakeem Bello, said he empathized with members of the public, who have had to endure longer than usual traffic as the reconstruction work in the heavily built-up stretch progresses towards the finish line.
According to the Minister, the intensity of work and the high volume of traffic, which had to be accommodated at the same time, have been complicated by impatience on the part of some motorists who drive against the planned traffic flow and breakdown of vehicles.
He, however, noted that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing was working with the Lagos State Government, all traffic management and security agencies to minimize the discomfort of motorists.
The Minister also explained that the contractors were also being encouraged to ensure that the final challenging phase of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway reconstruction work was concluded as soon as possible.
While noting that the earlier envisaged April 30 date for the conclusion of the final stretch could not be achieved due to a combination of factors, he said work within the OPIC area between Kara Bridge and the Long Bridge had been completed and would be opened to traffic.
“This means that the main carriageway, both bounds, from Berger (New Garage) and Sagamu Inter-change on Section 1 of the project have been completed,” he said.
All attention, according to the Minister, would now be focused on the outstanding work between Otedola Bridge and Berger (both bounds).