Nigeria road construction planning

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Private-ownership of roads in Nigeria is still at the deliberation stage. In other words roads (tarred and untarred) are owned by Federal, State and Local authorities in Nigeria. Most of these roads, however, share a common characteristic of being “unsafe at any speed”, at any time of the day. This is as a result of the low quality of the road components, structures and patterns. For example, road surfaces are undulating and rough. Also, the poor standard of road infrastructure like guard railings/barriers; pavement marking and signs; illumination levels, traffic signals, horizontal/vertical alignment and sight lines contribute largely to the increasing carnage on Nigerian road network.This trend persists because authorities in Nigeria have practically relegated to the background regular road safety audit operations. This is an inevitable aspect of modern methods of road administration and management, which determines a number of traffic potentials concerning highway high collision locations; protection of errant vehicles from light poles, trees, ditches, replacement of damaged and missing signs, street lighting, capacity and level of service analysis.Finally, this paper suggests commissioning of a National Road Research Fund, with a view to developing an efficient road safety audit operational system. Also, the introduction of private initiatives and a Community-based Approach in road administration, as well as decentralization of road administration framework at all levels, will greatly help “engineer out” potentially unsafe features across Nigerian roads, towards a better road traffic environment in the 21st century.

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Cutting the cost of road maintenance and improving road cost of road maintenance and improving road conditions are the main reasons why several Latin American countries have started to look for new ways of contracting out road maintenance. With technical assistance from the International Road Federation and German Aid, Colombia, Brazil, Guatemala, Peru and Uruguay have initiated so called Performance Specified Road Maintenance Contracts on a pilot basis. In addition, Argentina and Chile have let several such contracts recently. In this scheme the Road Authority serves as the owner, but out-sources both the management and production of the maintenance work to a single contractor. Most of these contracts have been operating for more than a year and cover routine maintenance and, in some cases, periodic maintenance and road rehabilitation as well. Extension of the road network, road surfaces and conditions, and the time period vary in each pilot project and will provide a wide basis for evaluation and improvements.

 

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