The Federal Government has announced the commencement of construction work on the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, spanning 9 States with two spurs leading to the Northern States.

Minister of Works, Engr. David Umahi, announced this during the official handover of the first phase of the project, made up of 47.47 kilometers dual carriageway, to Hitech Construction Company Ltd, and which is to be constructed in concrete pavement.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser (Media), to the Minister, Hon. Orji Uchenna Orji, in Abuja, late on Thursday.

According to him, the Minister who was in company with the Federal Ministry of Works’ Controller in charge of Lagos State, Engr. (Mrs) O. I. Kesha, emphasised the need for all contractors handling Federal Government’s road projects to deliver within a record time, noting that the government would not allow variation arising from delays or slow pace of work once mobilization had been done.

Orji quoted the minister as commending Hitech Construction Company Nigeria Ltd for being reputable for quality and speedy delivery of jobs.

The minister he said, acknowledged their efforts in starting work immediately after the contract was awarded.

He quoted Umahi as saying,”They have completed some filling of 1.3 kilometer from the day the project was awarded to them. It shows the speed they are going to deploy to this project.

“Within a couple of weeks, we awarded the project to them, they mobilized a lot of dredging equipment, and you can see that they have recovered 1.3 kilometer of section one of the phase.”

Orji said the Minister who also visited project sites at the Queen’s Drive Ikoyi, the Third Mainland bridge top deck, the under water, the Eddo bridge, the Eko bridge and Carter bridge expressed the determination of the Federal Government to carry out a comprehensive rehabilitation of the bridges which he said are critical links between the Mainland and the Island of Lagos, the economic hub of the country.

Quoting the minister further, statement read, “These repairs are expected to cover not only the top of the bridge but also the under bridge works.

“At the Third Mainland bridge, we have three or four critical elements to be rehabilitated. The first one is the deck, and the deck is about 11 kilometers two. That is dual carriageway, including the ramps, and it has been done by CCECC.

“They have done very beautiful jobs, but we have not concluded. Before the end of March, we’ll be concluding the asphalt milling and the reasphalting.

Umahi added , “But that is not all our commitment there. We are installing the guardrails, we are replacing the lights with solar light, we are going to put some decorative lights too, and then we are going to put CCTV camera both on top and under the bridge to check insecurity and illegal mining of sand, which is causing scouring on the piles and the pipe bits.

“The second job is that some sections of the slab are deflected, and so what we have done is to get an expert to understudy the level of deflection.

“That’s the tendons of the slab that deflected. And so we are going to cut open the slabs, enter and then look at it, scoop it, and then reinstate the tendons of the slab. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s been done at a Eko bridge by Buildwell. So this one is not a threat to us at all.”

The minister also commended what Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd is already doing, which is restoration of deteriorated peirs and peir caps including the cover of peirs and peircaps themselves, and said the piles which he also inspected were the most critical of the works to be done.

Earlier in their respective remarks, the State Controller, Federal Ministry of Works and the representatives of Hitech Construction Nigeria Ltd, Julius Bergger Nigeria Ltd, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd, and. Buildwell Nigeria Ltd assured the Honourable Minister that they would continue to work in line with the spirit of excellence, which the Renewed Hope administration of *His Excellency President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is known for.