The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Tuesday in Kaduna inaugurated the N1.1 billion emergency repair project on Abuja-Kaduna Road.
Mr. Fashola, who commended the contractor for completing the project on schedule, said the project was awarded on January 7 with a completion period of 50 days.
The minister, represented by Yemi Oguntominiyi, the Director of Highway Construction and Rehabilitation in the ministry, said the emergency repair was necessitated by the planned closure of Abuja Airport.
The Federal Government had in January announced the planned closure of Abuja Airport for six weeks with effect from March 8 to allow for the rehabilitation of the runway.
During the period, passengers coming into Abuja are expected to use Kaduna Airport.
Mr. Fashola said the repair work on the road included patching of potholes, reinstatement of failed pavements sections, strengthening of existing surface and surfacing with asphalt concrete overlay.
He said prior to the repair work, the existing 165 kilometre dual carriage was characterised with several failed sections, portholes and multiple cracks.
“This scenario has led to many black spots resulting to avoidable accidents, kidnapping, armed robbery, increased travel time and high vehicle operating cost.
“This important road, though maintained over the years, has outlived its service life, thus, requires emergency repairs to improve its service level, especially while the Kaduna Airport service Abuja air travellers,” he said.
The minister said the completion of the project would ensure comfortable movement to and fro Kaduna, reduce incidences of kidnapping and improve the socio-economic development of the project corridor.
In his remarks, Luka Davou, Deputy Director of Highway, North-East, attributed the timely completion of the project to the understanding of the commuters and security agencies during the 50 days period.
Mr. Davou commended residents of the project corridor, who despite all odds patiently endured all forms of inconveniences while the repairs lasted.