Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Government has announced that the expansion work on the popular Tombia Roundabout at Etegwe in Yenagoa, the state capital, would commence on June 26.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo disclosed this while speaking with newsmen shortly after paying an unscheduled visit to the area at the weekend.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement issued by his media aide, Mr Doubara Atasi, described the expansion work as a proactive measure to alleviate the traffic problems that would be thrown up by the Tombia Flyover project, which will also take off soon.
He explained that government has already designated an alternative route for road users to avoid traffick gridlock for the intervening period of the expansion work.
To this end, the deputy governor said there would be traffic diversion at the NIIT Junction as from June 26
According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, all motorists and commuters coming from the Isaac Boro Expressway are expected to divert into NIIT and connect the Mbiama-Yenagoa Road through Imiringi-Ruthmour and Tinacious Road at Edepie.
Ewhrudjakpo who expressed regret over the inconvenience they might face within the period noting that it as a worthwhile sacrifice for the development of the state directed the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and other officials to carry out immediate repairs on the failed portions on the NIIT Junction and Ruthmour road.
His words, “You are aware that some couple of weeks ago, Government demolished all illegal structures at the Tombia area in line with our urban renewal plan which was one of our key campaign promises.
“We said we were going to expand the Tombia Roundabout to ease traffic flow before commencing work on the Flyover there. We want to start the road expansion project. And you know, when we start, there will be some traffic gridlock.
“We are looking at the alternatives (diversions) that will be available for people to use while we do the job. So, we want to use this opportunity to inform all Bayelsans and the general public, that from next week, the expansion work on Tombia Roundabout will start to ease traffic while we get prepared for the Flyover.
“So, we are going to do some diversion of traffic to the NIIT Road that will link Imiringi and Tinacious Road. The diversion will not affect commuters coming from the Mbiama-Igbogene end.
“We expect that in the next 3 or 4 weeks, we will be through with this expansion project and then move over to the Outer Ring Road before coming back to the Flyover.”