The Lagos–Ibadan Expressway is one of Nigeria’s busiest and oldest roads. The 127.6-kilometer-long artery connects Ibadan and Lagos, two of Nigeria’s largest cities. With over 250,000 vehicles traveling the thoroughfare daily, the road is also one of the busiest on the African continent.
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Works and Housing entered a joint venture with SBI Holdings International AG through its subsidiary, Reynolds Construction Company Nigeria (RCC), to reconstruct and expand Section II of the expressway (the section from Sagamu to Ibadan). SBI managed every aspect of the project—from planning and financing to design and construction.
The project’s scope included:
● Reconstruction of the entire two-lane dual carriageway in both directions
● Provision and installation of median barriers
● Repairs to existing bridges and concrete drain works
● Construction of two toll plazas
● Provision and installation of street lights
● Pedestrian bridges
● Service lanes for industrial areas
SBI finished construction of the road in 2022. The new Sagamu-Ibadan section significantly reduces travel time for millions of commuters and commercial vehicles and supports economic growth and development in Lagos, Ibadan, Sagamu and the surrounding communities.
Challenge: Age, weather and inferior quality
After more than 35 years of active use, the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway had deteriorated substantially. As the center of nearly 60 percent of Nigeria’s economic activity, the road’s age and damage were severely impacting the nation’s economy—plus the quality of life for millions of its citizens.
A Soil and Pavement Evaluation by SBI found the road in poor condition, built with low-quality materials, and prone to environmental distress from high temperatures, heavy traffic, and flooding. Some of the more serious issues included:
● Thermal cracks
● Reflection cracks
● Fatigue cracking
● Rutting and shoving
● Moisture damage
SBI’s Solution: Quality Roadbuilding
Using data from the Soil and Pavement Evaluation, SBI developed a custom strategy for building the new Sagamu-Ibadan section. Our plan defined materials and a design that could withstand site-specific stressors. In addition, it included recommendations for maintenance and forecasts on the top layer’s lifespan.
SBI collaborated closely with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to ensure compliance with the Nigerian Highway Code and manage traffic effectively during normal conditions and events such as accidents and breakdowns. In addition, since the expressway serves the main artery into Lagos, minimizing traffic disruptions was an ongoing goal throughout the project.
SBI started construction of the Sagamu-Ibadan portion of the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway in July 2013. Throughout the project, we employed high-quality materials and our own advanced machinery (to prevent any procurement delays), along with SBI’s unparalleled engineering, construction, and project management expertise.
SBI’s scope of work included:
● Conducting earthworks
● Milling existing pavement
● Laying the geogrid mesh, stone base, and asphaltic layer
● Casting the concrete crash barrier, and concrete drains and chutes
● Repairing two bridges
● Keeping the road motorable throughout the repair work
Heavy wear-and-tear along with harsh weather conditions called for materials and techniques that would ensure lasting integrity. Therefore, per SBI’s recommendations, the expressway now features:
● A heat and weight-resistant asphalt binder made from polymer-modified bitumen (PMB)
● A rapid-draining pavement structure that reduces moisture damage
● Drainage ditches 30cm higher than the flooding level
● A top layer (wearing course) with a 10-year lifespan
Corporate Social Responsibility
As part of SBI’s commitment to social responsibility (CSR) —and in compliance with Nigerian law—we created a Community Development Agreement to give back to our host communities and minimize the environmental impact of the project. Our initiatives included:
● Employment of local youths
● Drilling five water boreholes for the Ogunmakin community and one for the Abanla community
● Donations of motorcycles, grinding machines, sewing machines, and generators to community members
● Construction of a new town hall building for the Ogunmakin community ● Financial empowerment for business owners and traders
● Respect for traditional courtesies and festive periods
● Distribution of COVID-19 palliatives
Results: A modern roadway uniting the country
Completed in 2022, the Sagamu-Ibadan Expressway features major structural improvements that ensure a durable and reliable roadway that residents and businesses can depend on for years to come.
The project created over 9,000 direct and indirect jobs in the area. While the upgrades yielded immediate economic and social benefits, we’re also excited about the long-term opportunities our work in Sagamu-Ibadan will generate for Nigeria.