Excitement as Sanwo-Olu inaugurates Ojota-Opebi link bridges

In what was largely described as a bold step to address the traffic situation around Opebi/Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way /Mende corridor, Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu yesterday flagged-off the 20-year-old construction of Ojota – Opebi Link Bridge with the adjourning roads. Muritala Ayinla writes

Realising that the increasing population in the state has overstretched the capacity of the existing network of roads in the city, especially in Ikeja, the state capital, the state government first conceived an idea of link bridges as far back as 2001, but for one reason or the other the project has not seen the light of the day. Successive administrations and private firms have made efforts to take up the challenge of coming up with a project that will put an end to the limitations in connectivity options and alternatives.

They had sought ways of bridging roads through a direct link between the Opebi – Maryland – Ogudu – 3rd Mainland Bridge as conceived in the Lagos State Transportation Master Plan (STMP) in order to reduce the travel time around the metropolis but couldn’t deliver on the plan for circumstances beyond their control.

But last Wednesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu decided to take the bull by the horn to ensure that the long overdue project which will transform the entire ikeja and environs becomes a reality with the flagging-off the all important project he described as “Legacy Project”. Speaking while flagging-off the project, Sanwo-Olu described the project as “another milestone in the implementation of the Traffic Management and Transportation Pillar of our administration’s THEMES Agenda and the State Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP).

He added that the flag-off ceremony was a testament to his administration’s commitment to the Greater Lagos Vision, adding that the ceremony also demonstrated the priority that his administration accords to the welfare and well-being of the people. According to him, the state government recognises the strategic importance of road infrastructure to sustainable development, which explains the administration’s focus on the provision of road infrastructure to achieve some pre-conceived targets like reduced travel time on our roads- (by saving important man-hours that would have been otherwise lost to traffic); enhanced inter connectivity; provision of better riding surface; and elimination of traffic gridlocks while generally making life more meaningful to commuters in Lagos State.

He said: “As you are aware, there is presently no direct link between Opebi, Maryland and Ojota. The available road infrastructure that links the axis is also limited in its connectivity options, thus during peak periods, the high traffic volume within the axis usually congests the Ikeja Traffic Network. Consequently, we recognized the need to provide another Legacy Project by constructing the Ojota – Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads to connect Opebi Road from its tail end with Lagos- Ikorodu road by Odo Iya-Alaro. “This will invariably reduce travel time to Lagos and Ikorodu bound traffic from Opebi.

It will also ease the traffic situation at Opebi – Sheraton Link Road and Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way. This Legacy Project will provide a new link to commute around Ikeja and its environs. It will also act as a relief to the saturated and over-burdened routes within Ikeja. There will also be a cascading effect on passenger transfer time for public transport operators with a significant impact on vehicle operating costs.

“As a means of ensuring prompt and quality delivery of the link bridge and approach roads, Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, with proven capacity and track record, was listed as the preferred contractor for the project, given their great wealth of experience working in such terrains.

“The contractor is already on site and they have done a lot of work behind the scenes. We have a firm conviction that the 3.89km Ojota– Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads consisting 2,829m road length: with a 276m Bridge (184m + 127m), Deck-on-Pile and 474m Mechanically Stabilized Earth Wall sections in Rigid Pavement will, upon completion inject considerable life into the socio-economic activities of the thousands of people who live, do business or use the road to connect to their various destinations.

“It will enhance productive exchanges, boost trade, eliminate the traffic bottleneck and stress previously associated with commuting through the axis and improve the quality of life of all users.” The governor that the state government initiated the construction of a 37 km track rail project which is steadily progressing, in addition to the complete overhaul of our water transportation system so that we can achieve an efficient and safe transport system that suits our megacity status and befits a 21st century economy. In order to further boost our integrated multi-modal urban mass transportation system, the governor added that the government recently acquired two sets of 10-car-Talgo 330kmph trains for the Lagos Red Line rail project. He added that the Talgo trains will make our transportation system more functional, open up the local economy and bring impactful succour and relief to commuters.

He said: “I am excited to inform you that since the inception of this administration almost three years ago, we have shown our commitment to the continued construction and maintenance of road infrastructure by completing, commissioning and handing over 65 road projects and several other improved junctions, while more than 50 others are at various stages of completion. This is in addition to the maintenance of over 832 roads, covering approximately 252km direct interventions in the form of Routine Maintenance and Palliatives Works on Strategic Roads (Complete and Sectional Overlay and Pothole Patching) by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation.” On her part, the Special Adviser to the governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, an engineer, said traffic studies have since shown that the uturn at Opebi is not adequate, thus during peak periods or vehicular breakdown, it is not unusual to see the high volume of traffic with the tailback effect that constricts the entire Ikeja road network and its surroundings.

She added that the design concept for this project has been holistically and collaboratively done between Ministry of Works and Infrastructure and Ministry of Transport so as to provide not only an infrastructure solution but also a Transport solution that ensures value and relief for the motoring public.

“The Ojota – Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads would at completion decongest and reduce the traffic gridlock often experienced around Opebi / Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way/ Mende corridor. Aside providing direct link between Opebi and Mende, Maryland and Ojota end and vice versa, it also has two Underpasses and u-turn providing access for Ojota to Ikorodu as well as for Opebi-bound commuters. There is also provision for another Underpass U-turn for Phase 2 of Opebi Link Bridge Project which would eventually set a precedence for Ojota commuters to link the Third Axial Road “The Legacy Project, Ojota –Opebi Link Bridge and Approach Roads is strategic not just because of its huge traffic bearing capacity but also for the reason that residents and road users along this axis have clamored for a solution to the harrowing experience of the perennial traffic gridlock along the Mobolaji Bank Anthony via Sheraton – Opebi and approach roads especially at the Opebi U turn.

This Project on completion will help to resolve the gridlock at that axis and environs while ensuring the Ojota – Maryland bound traffic is effectively channeled.” Adeyoye said the Link Bridge project would start from the Opebi U Turn and span across the gorge to drop at the intersection of Odo Iyalaro Bridge and approach from Ojota New Garage near Mende along Ikorodu Road. She added that the bridge and adjourning roads are also designed to convey traffic from Odo Iyalaro into Maryland as well as towards Ojota New Garage on Ikorodu Road through an underpass.

“The approach roads will greatly enhance vehicular movement towards Opebi/Allen/Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way via Sheraton Link Bridge / Kudirat Abiola Way and its environs just as it would reduce incessant traffic gridlocks being experienced over the years in the area. “For emphasis, the total Project Length: is 3.89km consisting of 2829m road length with 276m Deck-on-Pile Bridge and 474m Mechanically Stabilized Earth Wall approach sections. The project has been awarded to Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc who had successfully carried out extensive studies and engineering investigations along the project alignment as far back as twenty (20) years ago when it was first conceived. The contractor is determined to work assiduously to deliver the project in twenty (20) months,” she said.




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