Tell us about the FCT pedestrians bridge projects jointly funded by the World Bank and the federal government of which your sector, RSDT, supervises.
The six pedestrian bridges located along the Nicon junction, Banex junction, Wuye Junction, Area One junction, Sheraton Junction and Mabushi Junction all within the FCT are being funded under the Road Safety Component of the Federal Road Development Project frame work agreement. This Road Safety Component also have a capacity building sub component whereby we are building capacity of the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, by providing them vehicles and equipment to enhance their enforcement job in the country as well as specialized training. So the pedestrian bridge project is a collaborative effort between the RSDT and the FCDA in the sense that they (FCDA) produced the designs of these bridges and also provided the supervision consultants for these projects and we appointed the contractors and also manages the projects.
It has been observed that some of these pedestrian bridges are at low pace; could you tell us the reason for this?
Sometimes early this year, I notice some defects along three bridge locations. The locations are Banex junction, Wuye Junction and Area One junction. Some beams of the bridges were defective. The deflections were quite noticeable. So based on that, I issued a stop work order on those bridges. I instructed the contractors to replace these. These are the main reasons works were not on going on these three bridge locations. As for the other three sites; Nicon Junction, Sheraton Junction and Mabushi Junction the contractors have no excuse to stop work. I recently issued them a warning letter invoking the relevant clause in the conditions of contract because a contractor has no right to abandon a project because the funds are available and they were all mobilized accordingly. If a contractor is complaining that he is broke that is his problem. Because part of our evaluation criteria involves both technical and financial capability; one of the key requirements is that a contractor must be financially stable and must demonstrate evidence of financial line of credit from his bankers. Most of these contractors showed us evidence that they have credit facility in their banks so they don’t even have to wait for our mobilization before they move to sites. So based on that, I issued a warning which I intend taking appropriate action after three weeks if they don’t comply with that warning. The essence of these pedestrian bridge projects is to build up capacity of our local contractors for them to go through proper bidding process and also to deliver projects according to schedule and to the right quality according to specifications. If our local contractors are not performing on these small projects then how do they then expect us to trust them with bigger projects? It is not going to be business as usual because we intend applying penalties as spelt out in the conditions of contract in the event of default by any of these contractors.
How soon will these bridges be completed?
I assured you that these bridges will be completed in time because we have given them extension, most of the extensions should lapse by September but that of Nicon junction I can guarantee you it should be completed before then because it is defective –free.
Aside this pedestrian bridges, is there anything being put in place to ensure that pedestrians make use of these bridges in view of the fatalities being recorded on our expressways in the FCT?
Yes, pedestrian guard railings are being provided along the bridge locations in order to channel pedestrian to access these bridge. In addition to the pedestrian bridges associated related traffic management measures are also being implemented within the FCT. These projects are also being funded under the Federal Roads Development Project (FRDP) IDA credit facility. This includes provision of guard rails along the six pedestrian bridge locations, upgrade of existing traffic signals at some intersections; road markings and provision of road studs.
Download Daily Trust News App