Why Concrete Roads Remain Better Option For Niger Delta Roads

RECENTLY, Delta State Government awarded and commenced the construction of concrete roads projects in the riverine communities.
The construction of these ongoing concrete roads projects at Obitobo-Ehlo/Ajiaokurogbo-Oruru Road in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Okerenkoko and King Palace Road in Gbaraamatu Kingdom and others does not only stems from the love lost the government has for the riverine communities, but to ensure for the longevity of the projects despite the high financial and time implication.
The state government plunged into the projects with zeal in spite of the current difficult times, especially at the advent of socio-economic stress.
Recently, the Deputy Governor, Barr. Kingsely Otuaro inspected the phase one and phase two axial road project at Okerenkoko at Gbaramatu kingdom, to ensure the effective realization of the project, especially for specification, prudency and time.
The use of concrete road in the state therefore becomes inevitable due its poor natural swampy soil.
Delta State Government has since introduced the use of concrete roads, especially, during Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and Dr. Senator Ifeanyi Okowa administrations. The750-metre Tanker Park Access Road, Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area to make the 300 capacity tanker park accessible was one of such projects.
In Ojobo, a costal river line area in Burutu Local Government Area, the state government embarked on the construction of over two kilometre concrete road project, The 2.450 km road and drain project ran across Salmon Street, Morokoro Street, Aya-Ojobo Street and others.
As the call for the use of concrete road or cement as alternative and better option to asphalt road intensifies across the nation by many Nigerians and institutions, one of the callers for the use of concrete road was Mr. Mike Onolememen, the Nigerian former Minister of Works, during President Good luck Jonathan administration. The minister disclosed the Federal Government optimism, earlier in 2015 to introduce the construction of roads using cement and concrete.
The current Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, also recently disclosed that research is ongoing to produce cement for road construction in the country.
Dr. Onu who dropped the hint at the Forum of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja noted that, production of indigenous cement for road becomes necessary due to the way some asphalt built roads get damaged, causing hardship to road users. His words, “we’ve asked Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NIBRRI), to commence research in concrete because we have seen that using asphalt on our roads has not been much enduring.”
One of the industrialists who also bared his mind on the use of cement as a better option to asphalt materials was the Nigerian business mogul and cement producer, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Nigerian business mogul and cement producer, asserted that for the nation to achieve its long-desired infrastructural development goals, the country must embrace the use of concrete for road.
According to him, concrete roads are 25 per cent cheaper to execute, adding that cement raw materials are readily available while asphalt is imported into the country, saying that the maintenance cost of cement roads is near zero.
For effective and efficient introduction of the concrete roads for the socio-economic emancipation, growth and development, especially for easy evacuation of agricultural produces and solid minerals, the Federal Government has commissioned consultants for the execution of two concrete projects the Kachia-Baro road to connect the Federal Capital Territory to Baro Port in Niger and the Ikorodu-Sagamu Road in Lagos state.
Today, US Cement and concrete played a major role in the construction of the United States Interstate Highway System during the past 60 years. The national focus has shifted from building new highways to maintaining and repairing the existing highway network. Recent advances in concrete technology enable highway contractors to rehabilitate the nation’s highway system to extend its useful life with minimal disruption of traffic.
According to the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), about 60 per cent of the US interstate system is concrete, especially in urban areas where heavy traffic loads are anticipated. Concrete was selected, in part, because of its durability—can support heavy loads, such as truck traffic, with less deformation than asphalt.

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