The Federal Government has rehabilitated over 70 kilometres of collapsed sections of the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja highway in Cross River State ahead of the rainy season.
The Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing had contracted the complete rehabilitation of the road to Sermatech Nigeria Limited, while intervention work was also carried out by the same company on several other collapsed sections.
The rehabilitation and intervention work was estimated to cost N10bn.
The Project Engineer of Sermatech Nigeria Limited, Mr. Iheanacho Chibueze, explained that the intervention work had been completed, while the main rehabilitation work would require the release of funds to complete.
He said, “Section One is at Okomita by the Palm Estate in Akamkpa. We intervened there, stabilised the road. We have Section Two from Uyanga to Akpet. That area collapsed and so we intervened and stabilised the road. The Section Three, which stretches from Akpet to Ayamoyong, and the work in Adim falls under that section.
“The rehabilitation work started in 2015. But the sections one, two and three as well as the Iwuru axis all started around August 2017 and we have completed them. We have completed the emergency. The only one that is ongoing is the main rehabilitation work, and this depends on funding.”
Although some sections of the road were also being renovated by other construction firms, the Site Agent of Sermatech Nigeria Limited, Mr. Desmond Ewa, explained that the interventions became imperative to ease traffic during the rainy season.
He said, “There is 67 kilometre contract on rehabilitation work which stretches from Iyamoyong to Akpet in Obubra. There are other emergency interventions on collapsed sections totalling about 3.2 kilometres.
“In all, we have done over 70 kilometres So far; there were no payments for the emergency, but the process for repayment has commenced. The emergency areas all put together should be up to N1bn, while contract for the rehabilitation is about N9bn.”
Also, the Director of Civil Works at the Cross River State Ministry of Works, Dr. Godwin Akeke, said there was the need to completely renovate the Calabar-Ikom-Ogoja Road because it had come of age.
“The road was constructed as a post-civil war intervention project. Over time, there have been issues of failure, majorly because of the kind of materials used for the culvert construction; anchor pipes were used or steel shells. Most of them have past their lifespan and the road itself too has gone past its lifespan,” he said.