The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr
Usani confirmed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Uyo.
Usani said that the ministry was concentrating on the road projects that are of economic importance to the nation in spite of so many development projects to be executed by the ministry.
He said that upgrading the existing two lane dual carriageway to three lane carriageway from Eleme Junction (Port Hartcourt) to Onne/Port-Harcourt Junction with a total length of 15km in Section iii of the road was needed.
According to him, the project would comprise two interchanges, one each at Refinery Junction and Onne Port Junction and a construction of three traffic lanes,10.95m wide divided carriageway.
The minister said that a flanked of 2.75m outer and 1.5m inner shoulders, and a construction of drainage and culverts would ensure the extension of the road project.
``Provision of asphaltic concrete pavement consisting of 250mm compacted thickness of soil cement stabilised sub base, 250 mm to 500m compacted thickness crushed rock stone materials.
``A 120m to 180mm thickness of asphaltic binder course and 40mm thickness of wearing course’’ are among other specifications of the job, he said.
Usani added that deck-on-bridge between Km 59 and Km 61 on the new carriageway to provide ultimate solution to heavy soil subsidence frequently experienced in that section of the road would be constructed.
The minister said the expansion of Section iii has six lanes with two inter changes at Onne Port-Harcourt junction and Eleme refinery junction as well as four bridges.
According to him, the road was a major artery that supports the economic activities associated with oil and gas exploration in the region.
``The Section of the East-west road from Port-Harcourt to Onne junction carryies the heaviest vehicular traffic on the road as it runs through the industrial hub of Rivers State.
``The activities of Port-Harcourt refineries (old and new), Eleme Petro-Chemical, NAFCON, Onne deep sea-port, etc, are all dependent on this road.
``This section of the road has witnessed unprecedented rise in traffic volume and heavy loads as a result of daily increasing commercial activities,'' he said.
The minister said that the project was 90 per cent completion after an assessment of the level of work done by the contractors.
Besides, Usani said that he will be visiting the project site in the next 10 days to ensure that the job was executed according to specification.
He recalled that the 0-15km was awarded in November, 2014, adding that the ministry is working towards promoting economic activities in the region.
NAN reports that the East West Road linking Edo, Delta, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states is one of the major projects of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
The 388 dual carriageway was inherited from the Federal Ministry of Works in April 2009, so as to fast track its completion.