The ongoing reconstruction of the long-neglected Aba-Port Harcourt road is more than just a road project; it’s a symbol of revitalised infrastructure and renewed economic prosperity in Abia State.
The N32 billion project, spearheaded by Abia State Governor Alex Otti and contracted to engineering firm Julius Berger, marks a new chapter for the state after years of neglect and false starts under previous administrations.
Barely six months into Otti’s administration, the reconstruction of the abandoned 6.8 km road (initially 5.9 km) kicked off to address the urgent need to improve connectivity between Aba and Port Harcourt and boost trade opportunities.
Before Julius Berger took on the project in October 2023, the Aba-Port Harcourt road was a notorious symbol of neglect. Potholes and uneven surfaces plagued the road, making it a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians alike.
Incomplete and undirected drainage systems only worsened the situation, leading to flooding during rainy seasons. The situation contributed to traffic collisions, longer travel times, and a sense of frustration and inconvenience for Abians and visitors.
Despite significant funds earmarked for rehabilitation by the previous administration, complaints persisted.
The immediate past administration of Okezie Ikpeazu had earmarked over N9.8 billion for the project but a feasibility study by Otti’s government revealed that only a meagre 20 per cent completion had been achieved, contrary to claims of 40 per cent. This, coupled with the challenging terrain and ground conditions of Aba, worsened the complexity of the project.
Where potholed asphalt and half-finished structures once stood, a 6.8 kilometres of fresh pavement and modern multi-lane highway will now take shape. Underground, improved drainage and stabilisation measures like compacted soil will help the revitalised road withstand flooding from seasonal rains.
Building for the Future
Governor Otti has always stressed the importance of constructing durable, high-quality roads able to handle heavy traffic for years to come. Though more expensive up front than inferior materials that require continual patching and repairs, the investment in advanced engineering will save money over time.
Despite challenges like inflation, supply chain disruptions, and increased demand for construction materials, the Aba-Port Harcourt road project remains an important undertaking.
The Otti administration is committed to constructing high-quality roads that can withstand the demands of heavy traffic for years to come. This commitment is reflected in the use of high-quality materials and the implementation of stringent construction standards.
The Aba-Port Harcourt road project is not just about improving transportation; it’s about driving economic growth and prosperity. Upon completion, the project is expected to improve the transportation infrastructure of the state and enhance connectivity between Aba and Port Harcourt
More importantly, it will save time and frustration for residents and businesses all along the link between Aba’s bustling garment factories, appliance workshops, and vendors and customers in Port Harcourt and beyond. Safer, faster transportation of goods bolsters trade and nurtures prosperity on both ends.
Aba-Port Harcourt Road Signals Prosperity For Abia State is first published on The Whistler Newspaper