From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has revealed the secret behind the timely completion of rehabilitation work of the 3.6-kilometre runway and taxiways of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
The airport, which is the gateway to Nigeria’s capital and seat of government, was shut about six weeks ago to allow for a total rehabilitation of the runway and taxiways, which had deteriorated.
To repair the runway and taxiways as a monolithic structure and ensure a quality solution that would extend the runway’s lifespan, the airport was shut down for six weeks and flight operations diverted to Kaduna Airport.
Head of the media relations office of Julius Berger, Mr. Moses Duku, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja at the weekend, attributed the speedy work and timely completion of the job to the unflinching support the company received from the federal government.
Duku said, “To realise the programme of works within the highly challenging time frame, Julius Berger pooled its resources, mobilising equipment, highly skilled specialist and technical team from across its operational hubs in Nigeria.
“The 400-person strong site team worked round the clock at various stages to complete the milling of 175,000 square metres of asphalt and subsequent re-laying of 56,200 tons of new asphalt at a speed of 4,600 tons per day at peak performance, as well as the installation of 82,300 square metres of special fibre glass grid for asphalt reinforcement and the renewal of the runway lighting and markings.
“While the construction itself was intensive, project challenges began long before the first machines started their engines. Thorough design studies, seamless planning, scheduling and logistical coordination were all essential aspects of the meticulously planned time schedule.
“Julius Berger’s global resource network ensured fast-track procurement and shipping of 160 tons of project-related materials via a fully chartered Boing 747 cargo plane as well as four additional cargo flights, which, together with the sourcing of materials domestically, ensured prompt delivery of required materials to site, making what many thought was impossible possible.
“The timely rehabilitation of the runway and main taxiways was realised due to Julius Berger’s robust planning capacities, expansive equipment fleet, leading technical know-how, resourceful and highly skilled staff, and the support of suppliers and sub-contractors as well as the professional cooperation of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and the Special Project Implementation Committee of the Federal Government, headed by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.”
Throughout the construction period, he said, international quality assurance control processes were adhered to, guaranteeing consistency in quality of asphalt production and general work, in addition to compliance to health, safety and environmental procedures resulting in accident-free workplace.