Abuja-Kaduna rail 85% complete, says minister

The Abuja-Kaduna standard rail project is 85 per cent completed, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, has said.

Umar announced this on Saturday in Doko, Kaduna State, at a ceremony to mark the attainment of 100km of track-laying for the railway modernisation project.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Vice President Namadi Sambo had inaugurated the track-laying at Idu, Abuja, in July 2013.

Umar said, “Today, in less than one year, the construction has attained over 100km out of 186km. In the next three months, the track will be completed.

“All the materials required are already on ground to achieve the completion and availability of the rail line.

The minister said the major constraints encountered in the construction were in Abuja and had been overcome.

He said the constraints of water interference at Kilometre 19 and some estates built along the rail line in Kubwa were resolved.

Umar urged the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company handling the project to continue with the zeal and determination with which it started.

The Project Manager, CCECC, Mr. James Li, said there had been steady progress in the construction of the rail line since the commencement of the track-laying.

Li said, “About 185km of the 186.5km route distance has been cleared; 8,597,000 metres of earth excavated, 403,000m of rock blasted and 6,064,000m of earth filling done. Sub structural works have now been completed on all the 26 railway bridges, while all the five box bridges have also been fully completed.

“Also, 13 out of the more than 30 over-pass bridges have been completed, while work is in progress on 16 others.”

He said construction had started on 203 out of the scheduled 206 railway culverts, while preparation work was in progress for the commencement of the remaining three culverts.

Li said more than 330,000 pieces of concrete sleepers had been pre-cast, while the required 348 pieces of pre-cast T-beams had been produced.

He noted that the track laying had reached an advanced stage, with 110km of track panel laid and 47,356m ballast distributed.

According to the project manager, work has started fully on the seven of the required nine station buildings. NAN

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