Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lokoja-Abuja highway re-opens to traffic on Friday

The Lokoja-Abuja highway, rendered impassable by flood waters from River Niger, will be re-opened to traffic on Friday, according to one of the engineers working on the road.

Mr Ajani Adeyemo of Gitto Construction Company, said that the diversion being created for motorists would be completed by Thursday evening.

“By Friday, motorists will start plying the road,’’ Adeyemo said.

A visit to Banda where the three contractors engaged by the Federal Government to create a diversion to allow free flow of traffic are working, reports that work had reached an advanced stage.

The correspondent reports that the three contractors, Julius Berger, RCC and Gitto, had deployed full complement of staff to the site and were working to ensure that the job was completed on time.

At the section of the road which was completely submerged by flood, the contractors had placed big stones to block further flow of water from the river to the road, while men and equipment such as caterpillars and escavators were seen working to create a diversion.

Adeyemo said that he and his colleagues working on the site had realised that the water level in River Niger had been increasing everyday and promised that the diversion being created would not be submerged by flood.

The FRSC Sector Commander in Kogi, Mr Mohammed Garba, said that the highway, closed to traffic since Sept 23, would be reopened to traffic as soon as the contractors gave the go ahead.

He acknowledged the extent of work done on the diversion, but said that he would not want to be categorical on when the road would be re-opened to traffic.

Meanwhile, long queues of articulated vehicles still dot both ends of the road while owners of cars and buses pay between N13,000 and N15,000 to ferry their vehicles across the river.

Also passengers boarding the ferry from Lokoja to Jamata and Jamatato-Lokoja now pay as much as N500 per head against the N300 per person the operators charged on Wednesday.


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