Senator David Umahi, the Minister of Works, has officially prohibited the use of laterite as a foundation material in road construction. He has mandated that from now on, contractors must utilize lumps, sharp sand, and stone as the base before laying concrete or asphalt pavement.
The Minister issued this directive during the inauguration of a committee responsible for overseeing the reconstruction of the Benin-Warri dual carriageway and the dualization of the East-West Road, specifically the Port Harcourt-Onne Port junction road in River State.
This decision was communicated in a statement released by the Ministry’s Director of Information, Press, and Public Relations, Lere-Adams Blessing, in Abuja, on a Friday. Umahi highlighted the shortcomings of laterite, including its limited load-bearing capacity, vulnerability to erosion and weathering, particularly in regions with heavy rainfall. These issues can lead to the deterioration of the road surface over time, posing maintenance challenges and reducing the road’s longevity.
She quoted the Miniater as saying, “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”
Furthermore, the Minister instructed the recently established Road Taskforce Team to oversee the ongoing maintenance of all roads throughout the construction process until the projects are completed. He urged them to ensure that contractors are promptly notified of this requirement, emphasizing that the ministry is operating under a directive from the President to improve Nigerian roads, facilitating smoother transportation for citizens between various destinations.
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