FG stops use of laterite in road construction


By Ukpono Ukpong

The Minister of Works, Sen. David Umahi, has banned the use of laterite as a base in road construction and directed that henceforth contractors should use lumps, sharp sand and stone base to form the base before laying of concrete or asphalt pavement.

Umahi gave the directive at the inauguration of the committee for the supervision of the reconstruction of Benin – Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of East – West Road, Port Harcourt – Onne Port junction road in River State.

Umahi noted that laterite has a limited load bearing capacity, susceptible to erosion and weathering especially in areas with heavy rainfall and this can lead to degradation of the road surface overtime, maintenance challenge and does not last long.

“We are giving very serious attention to the roads between Benin and Warri. The road between Eleme and Onne Port, we are mindful of the site conditions of these roads, the water conditions and the boreholes instead of pot holes on these roads. No more laterite, contractors are now to use lumps, sharp sand and stone base in place of laterite”.

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The Minister directed the newly inaugurated Road Taskforce Team that there must be a continuous maintenance of all the roads under construction until the end of the project and should make sure that the contractors are duly informed of the development.

“The committee must implement the contract agreement with maintenance culture as key. Committee members are to monitor the contractors closely to make sure things are done right.

“Our contractors can now understand that we are not insisting that things have to change without a reason, but that the society is demanding for sustainability and integrity of the work they are doing.”

Umahi disclosed that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security, and power in the country.

Speaking further, he said that President Bola Tinubu is committed to our road infrastructure improvement, and thus, the Ministry is on a mission to uphold the renewed hope agenda of this administration on road infrastructure provision.

“I want to say that road infrastructure is one of the key factors for the revolution of our commerce, education, security and power in this country and Mr President is committed to our road infrastructure, so we are on a mission and we must take back our country.”

The Minister tasked the committee on daily proper supervision and documentation of what the contractors are doing, adding that they must ensure the new methods of construction are followed including maintenance, saying it is part of the elements of the project and anything contrary to that attracts punishment.

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