By Perpetua Onuegbu
The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, has called for the redesign of the Abuja-Keffi Expressway to include a flyover to end the persistent gridlock on the Nyanya-Mararaba axis in Karu, Nasarawa State.
Umahi said this during the site inspection of the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Abuja-Mararaba-Keffi Road on Thursday in Nasarawa State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is under the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme and being handled by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited.
Umahi urged the China Harbour Engineering Limited to come up with the redesign within seven days, adding that it would help reduce the gridlock experienced on the road.
While noting that the work on the 43.56 kilometres road would be the rehabilitation of the dual carriageway, the minister said the road would be tolled after completion with various facilities to ease journey of travellers on it.
“This road is very important. I want you to complete the road in 12 months and as soon as we complete it, we will toll it.
“It will be added to the tolling of the Keffi – Makurdi, that is why the Public Private Partnership people are here, we have directed that in this section, we will bring in solar light, CCTV and security at the service stations.
“I want the director in charge of the project to reach out to the governor of Nasarawa State, so that we can acquire a land within the corridor where we will build the service station and the toll gates.
“We will complete the redesign within 7 days, do not bring any laterite on the road, the road is stable, the pavement is gone and we have to reinstate it.
“Our design is going to be one of the best because we are bringing certain construction materials to add to the strength of the stone base and the asphalt,” Umahi said.
The minister added that the project being funded by NNPC should have two construction sites with one located at the Mararaba section.
He also said that the construction would mostly be at night so as not to disrupt vehicular movements.
“The traffic is high on the road and if we do anything during the day, it will inconvenience the people. I will be part of the supervision at night.
“We are considering a flyover in Mararaba because of the congestion in traffic.
“So, I want us to study it, in seven days to come up with a design of the location. We want before the middle of February to start the construction of a flyover there,” Umahi said.
NAN also reports that the project is located in Nasarawa State, starting at Mararaba, the border between the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State.
The project is an important component of Nigeria’s national trunk road upgrade plan.
It would enhance connectivity between the capital of Nasarawa, Abuja and the towns along the route, contributing to the integrated development of Abuja and the surrounding towns.
In conjunction with the first and second phases of Keffi Road , the completion of transportation corridor will facilitate economic development in Abuja and the southeastern regions of Nigeria.
The project was awarded on April 19, 2023, commenced Dec. 20, 2023 and would be completed May 2026. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Ukpoju