Abia State Governor, Alex Otti on Wednesday flagged off the expansion of the 3.5 km-Ossah Road, Umuahia, from four to six lanes.
The project, which takes off from the Abia Tower on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, terminates at the Okpara Square, Umuahia.
In a speech at the brief event held at the Okpara Square, Otti said that the project was initiated in line with his administration’s resolve to provide critical infrastructure that would facilitate the achievement of its rebuilding agenda.
The governor said that the project would be constructed to high structural standards, with drainage systems and side walks on either sides with approved stone base.
“The specifications will include a 200-millimeter base and a 40-millimeter wearing course, among other requirements” he said.
He further said that upon its completion, a fresh contract would also be awarded to the construction firm to extend the dualisation from the Tower to the Abia boundary with Imo at Onuimo River.
Otti said; “The other good news is that by the time you get to the Tower from here, we would have completed this phase.
“Also, the contract for the road will continue beyond the Tower into Onuimo and it is going to be the same specifications; six lanes with walkways and drainage system”.
He gave assurance that the project would enhance the aesthetics of Umuahia and establish its rightful status as the capital city.
He said that challenges were encountered in reaching the milestone of commencing the projects “but the state government had thoroughly conducted the necessary assessments to avoid exposing the citizens to undue hardship.
Otti also said that the demolition of buildings to give way for the road expansion had commenced in earnest and that the funds for the payment of compensation to the owners, numberibg130 owners had been secured.
“The payment of compensation has commenced and if you have not received your own, just be patient it could be due to bureaucracy,” he said to owners of the affected buildings.
He said that plans were also underway to kickstart the rehabilitation of Imo River-Owerrinta, Umuene-Obikabia, Ukaegbu-Ikot Ekpene Roads, in a bid to decongest Aba Town and improve vehicular movement in the commercial city.
The governor thanked the traditional rulers of Ossah communities for their support in advancing the government’s plans to successfully execute the expansion project.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Works, Mr Don Oti, said that the project marked another milestone in the present administration’s timeline of infrastructure development.
The commissioner said that the project would be the first six-lane road in Abia, adding that the governor had by the gesture etched his name in gold in the annals of the state.
He further said that the approved stone base specifications for the project included a 200-millimeter base and a 40-millimeter wearing course, among other requirements.
“This is the highest structure of any road you can find in this country and we believe that this road is going to stand the test of time,” Oti said. (NAN)