By Grace Alegba and Abdulrahman Kadiri
The expansion work on the Lagos-Ibadan bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway has commenced with the installation of expansion joints by the contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
Our correspondents who took a trip on section one of the ongoing reconstruction of the expressway project on Sunday, observed that construction works were ongoing on the Lagos bound carriageway of the Long Bridge.
Section one of the project spans from Ojota in Lagos to the Sagamu Interchange and it is being handled by Julius Berger.
Section two of the project, which spans from the Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan, is being handled by the Reynolds Construction Company (RCC).
Workmen were seen welding and using various construction materials on the Long Bridge, with other construction works going on simultaneously on different portions of the highway.
The highway has been completed to the final layers on both carriageways between the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Redemption Camp and the Sagamu Interchange.
However, some drainage works were ongoing on the Ibadan-bound carriageway.
Mr Kayode Ibrahim, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing engineer supervising the contract, told our correspondent that expansion joints on the Long Bridge were being fitted in the spaces reserved for them.
While leading a tour of the bridge, Ibrahim explained that special construction materials were being used in the reserved spaces called “Thorma Joints,” which are where the expansion joints are being installed.
“A bridge is not supposed to be static, it expands and contracts and the expansion joints serve that purpose.
“We began installation of the expansion joints on Thursday and we are replacing 42 joints on each side, but we started with the Lagos bound carriageway.
“Our usual effective traffic diversion and control measures are on, to ensure minimal stress to motorists,” Ibrahim said.
He, however, declined comments on when the installation of the joints would be completed, insisting that Julius Berger would complete the work “very soon”.
While conducting NAN through the rest of the highway, the engineer explained that Julius Berger was working on the road’s shoulders (edges) between Wawa and Ibafo, in order to move traffic to the Ibadan-bound carriageway.
He said that this was to enable total and effective reconstruction of the Lagos-bound carriageway.
“The shoulder recovery is an effective strategy to manage traffic.
“We have done extension work on the road shoulder here; you can see that it is a new pavement,” he said.
He said that Macadam which is a water resistant component, was being used to construct the highway, to make the construction last up to 50 years.
He added that the drainage network was being channeled to an existing river, to avert flooding.