By Marshal Obuzor
Everyone I have discussed the scope of this work with have echoed that “it’s not a four year project”. Their thinking is that Governor Wike would start it and hopefully a subsequent government can finish it but knowing how tenacious Governor Wike can be, I am confident he will ensure it’s completion in his tenure.
The project involves the construction of a dual carraige highway from the Port Harcourt International Airport through Rukpokwu to Rumuokoro down Ikwerre Road to the Mile One Flyover. As seen in the pictures, the contractor (Lubric Construction Company) is already on site with over three kilometers of the expansion of one lane already done in the Rukpokwu area.
When completed, the highway would have shoulders at its edges, streetlights, foot bridges at six major juctions and an overhead bridge to be built by Julius Berger PLC at Rumuokoro. This doesn’t come without extra costs as Ikwerre road and all roads along this route would be expanded to accommodate the highway.
The multiplier effect of this project is enormous as it forms a key aspect of the state government’s plan to make the Port Harcourt International Airport a regional aviation hub.
A lively metropolitan ecosystem is important for an Airport to thrive so the quick and easy access the highway is set to create would be the catalyst for the much needed aeropolis to support the Airport.
It would also boost the housing sector and lead to the rapid gentrification of our suburbs.
The pictures with this post shows construction around the Rukpokwu area, it also shows brown roofs of budget buildings by the main road. Although close to the city centre in theory, Rukpokwu, Aluu and other suburban areas have long faced limited development owning to the bottle neck divide (Rumuokoro junction) between them and the city center. This road project would make Rukpokwu about 20 mins from the city center during peak periods. This would in turn lead to the gentrification of the suburbs as the demand for accomodation in that area would immediately lead to modern houses, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure being built in the area.
It would also be a catalyst for the rapid development of the Greater Port Harcourt City Area as it provides a quick and convenient access to the Greater Port Harcourt area.
The real sector would also be a major beneficiary as there would be a construction boom it the area when the road is completed. Engineers, Architects, Lawyers and Artisans would be major beneficiaries of the increase in construction activities while traders and service providers would be needed during construction and to sustain the needs of the communities that would develop after the construction phase.