The Managing Director of AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd, Mr Ashif Juma, on Saturday said the firm has begun relocation of gas pipelines slowing down the Apapa-Wharf Road reconstruction project.
Juma told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a site inspection exercise that the construction work was divided into four sections .
According to him, work is currently going on simultaneously on two sections.
He said that gas pipes in the Right of Way (RoW) had slowed down the project for more than two months.
Juma identified the high traffic in the area as one of the challenges affecting the project, adding that a team of traffic consultants were handling this to ensure it does not affect construction work.
“We are working with the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and Gaslink to relocate some pipes under the drains.
“Nobody was aware of the pipes when we began the project because this road was constructed over 40 years ago.
“ And nobody has drawings of where utilities are so, we have been careful excavating.
“We are starting the relocation of the gas pipelines from today and it will take us one week of careful work to finish so that construction work can continue.
“We need to dig deep to lay the foundation for a good concrete road but the gas pipes have not allowed us to do that so, we have been working on other sections.
“After this relocation, we will do a good job as we have done in over 21 countries; building durable concrete roads.
“We only appeal to people of Lagos to be patient with us because this portion we are constructing will last more than 50 years,” he said.
He gave an assurance that by the end of the month, the public would see the visible concrete road.
Juma also said that as the rainy season winding up, efforts would be intensified on the site to ensure the project was delivered on schedule.
“Inspite of the challenges, we want to complete the road by June 2018.
“Today, we have about 93 people working on site with about 27 equipment and we are working six days a week.
“ After the rainy season, we would do seven days and run two shifts for 24 hours,” he said.
Conducting NAN round the fabrication site, he explained that most of the drainage slabs were being mass produced there and the pre-cast walls and slabs were being moved to the construction zone to speed up work.
“We produce here for two reasons, speed and good quality of concrete,” he told NAN.
The managing director, while conducting NAN round the site and the new “Concrete Slipform Machines” said the equipment would ensure stability of the road.
NAN reports that a team of engineers from a gas company joined Juma and his team of engineers to excavate gradually a major gas pipe on the RoW.
He directed that security men must continuously guard the cordoned off area to ensure that reckless motorcyclists, who usually remove barricades to drive through construction zones, do not have access to the area.
NAN observed that heavy duty machines were being used to lift and lay large drainage channels on the CMS bound carriageway.
Also, pumping machines were being used to drain off water on some portions while earth moving equipment compacted sand on some portions with workmen also carrying out various activities.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on June 17 signed the N4.34 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the reconstruction of the four kilometres road with AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd and other stakeholders.
The project is being funded by AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Flour Mills of Nigeria.
The project has a completion period of one year.