Gov Ben Ayade has explained why his government is asphalting Calabar/Odukpani dual carriage highway during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking, Tuesday, during an inspection tour of the project, the Governor said the road is critical to the state’s economy and that it would play a major role as a veritable evacuation corridor to the Bakassi Deep seaport when completed
Expressing optimism that when completed, the road would also ease the perennial traffic gridlock at the Odukpani junction, Gov Ayade said he was delighted at the progress of work.
He said: “The Calabar/Odukpani dualisation project is intended to connect the spaghetti flyover and to do a proper evacuation of the gridlock we face at the Odukpani Junction. This is a super project in the sense that it will perfectly ease traffic, and also this is the road the Superhighway will be evacuating into and it will run on dual carriage into the six lanes and then into the Bakassi Deep Seaport.
“This construction work is very critical for us because this is where you connect to Abuja, this is where you connect to the seaport, this is where you connect to Port Harcourt, the whole of the southern part, the northern part and up to the Cameroon. This is the only way, the gateway into Calabar. So it is our heartbeat, which is why we have focused on it as a priority.”
Commending the contractors for the quality of job, the Cross River state governor disclosed that the specification of the project was such that could withstand heavy duty trucks that ply the road daily.
“I am quite impressed so far with the quality of work done. Ordinarily they are supposed to lay the bitumen to 6cm and compact to 5cm but I have given an order for them to lay to 7cm and compact to 6cm to give it a higher thickness to have a higher tolerance level for some of these heavy duty trucks that are coming in to pick very heavy materials, picking petroleum products from the Calabar tank farms and the rest.
“I think the job that they are doing is great, the quality is good. I have seen the thickness of the asphalt, I have seen the consistency, I have seen the mixture and I am quite satisfied. The contractor has the capacity and competence to deliver on this job within a short time.
“In the next couple of week, you will start seeing the construction of the spaghetti flyover and I want to use this opportunity to thank Cross Riverians who have stood with me through all the challenges of Covid 19,” he stated