The Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) says it is introducing water channels at the Ovia River Bridge in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of Edo State to prevent water pooling on the road and obstructing the movement of persons and goods.
Muktar Abdulrahim, a federal road maintenance engineer in Edo State, who disclosed this during an on-the-spot assessment of several failed portions of the Benin-Sagamu Highway, said the Ovia River was part of an ongoing maintenance repair work they recently embarked on to ameliorate the harrowing experiences commuters undergo.
He assured that the agency would extend the maintenance to other bad sections of federal roads in Edo, noting that it has prioritised repairs based on the severity of the issues.
Abdulrahim stressed the need to address the underlying causes before tackling the failures, saying “to address this, we are actively desilting existing lined drains and constructing additional ones to ensure proper drainage. We have observed that these failures are primarily due to blocked water channels, resulting in water accumulation on the roadway.
He equally said that the agency has successfully addressed the issue of punching failure on the bridge deck at Isoko camp, a notorious spot known for causing traffic congestion, on the highway.
“The failure on the deck has been reinstated, and we are awaiting the completion of the concrete curing period before it can be reopened for use. We use this medium to appeal to motorists and other road users to exercise patience while the concrete undergoes the curing period.
“Our efforts also encompass unblocking weep holes at the Ovia Bridge and introducing water channels at the bridge approach to prevent water pooling, a factor contributing to the road’s deterioration. Once these preventive measures are implemented, we will concentrate on rectifying the failures. By addressing the root causes and then conducting the necessary repairs, we are confident that the resulting improvements will stand the test of time.
“Currently, we are actively working in that region (Okada area). Our plan involves extensive desilting of the existing carriageway, culverts, and lined drains. We will also construct additional line drains to enhance proper water discharge. Subsequently, we will proceed with repairs on the affected carriageway itself. This will entail stabilizing the base using hardcore and stone base before applying asphalt,” Abdulrahim said.
The FERMA official, however, commended Godson Amos, acting managing director of the agency, for promptly mobilising teams to repair the failed parts so as to address the concerns of motorists.