Not impressed by zero allocation to maintenance budget, government has been urged to consider the option of composite pavement for construction of major highways in the country.

Worried by the alarming rate of deterioration of road network and other public infrastructure despite enormous amount of budgetary allocations, stakeholders, comprising engineers, real estate professionals and lawyers, who gathered at the 20th CED Forum/Award of Excellence Ceremony, called on both federal and state governments to select special roads based on their peculiarity for composite pavement.

Composite pavements are asphalt overlay on concrete pavements. The asphalt overlay may have been placed as the final stage of initial construction or as part of a rehabilitation or safety treatment.

The advice, according to some of the engineers, will prevent frequent failures of highways built with asphalt.

The use of concrete pavement or composite, which has the advantage of durability, has become imperative due to low or zero allocation to road maintenance in the country.

Speaking on the topic: “Concrete Road in Nigeria; Durability, Acceptability and the Economic Benefit to a Developing Nation.” Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Highway and Transportation Engineers (NIHTE), Dr. Isa Usman Emoabino, noted that the nation’s road sector was in dire need of attention, reforms and alternatives.

On the choice between concrete and asphalt pavement for roads, he advises that government should allow highway engineer to make the decision based on many varying factors.

“There are principal and secondary factors to consider in the selection process,” he said.

Emoabino, who spoke glowingly of the advantages of concrete/rigid pavements above conventional asphalt (flexible) pavement, advised that the nation could combine both (composite pavement) for durable road construction.

“Composite pavement behavior under traffic loading is essentially the same as rigid pavement,” he said, adding that “the primary structural difference between a rigid and flexible pavement is the manner in which each type of pavement distributes traffic loads over the subgrade.”

Publisher of CED Magazine, Kenneth Odusola-Stevenson, while welcoming guests and awardees to the forum, said the platform, which is the 20th edition, was meant to recognize organizations and leaders with the vision and mind for development and excellence.

A former NSE President, Mr. Olumuyiwa Ajibola, an engineer, commended public private partnership between government and Dangote Group on concrete road, noting that design for a concrete road required a lot of criteria when considering the axle load from trucks from one point to another.

He called for synergy among the Nigerian Building Road Research Institute (NBRRI), universities colleges on appropriate research into concrete road materials, saying they should develop data and software for it.

“Nigeria must have its own application for concrete road,” he said.

President, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Engr. Otis Anyaeji, advocated for the implementation of Nigerian content policy, saying that it would allow participation of Nigerians in local projects.

He called on other professionals to rise to the occasion for the implementation of the act in every sector of the economy.

A former President, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Williams Odudu, called for the adoption of concrete pavement for road construction due to its durability, spanning over 40 years.

I recommend to government that rigid pavement should be used for construction of some of the nation’s roads,” he said.

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