LAGOSIANS have waved an exciting bye to the age-long vehicular gridlock in and around Agege, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu opening the Pen Cinema Bridge and five roads that are expected to make motoring a better experience.
The commissioning on Friday marked the fulfilment of another campaign promise made by Sanwo-Olu to residents, who daily endured pains in commuting within the axis in the last four years.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, inaugurated the projects, which he described as “needed catalyst” for the resuscitation of economic activities on the axis.
The construction of the 1.4-kilometre long flyover was recommended during the Lagos Economic Summit (Ehingbeti) under ex-Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration, as a strategic intervention to achieving significant traffic improvement in the densely populated area. The Akinwunmi Ambode administration created the right-of-way and set up the structural beams; Sanwo-Olu substantially completed civil works on the bridge.
The imposing overpass ascends from Oba Ogunji Road and drops at Oke Koto, Agege. The bridge also opens to the old Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway through Abule-Egba.
Tumultuous crowds of excited residents joined Sanwo-Olu and members of the State’s Executive Council at the ceremony.
The Governor described the delivery of the project as a “landmark progress” in his administration’s drive towards eliminating bottlenecks causing suffocating gridlocks to relieve residents of the stress associated with commuting.
Sanwo-Olu said the two-pronged approach, which his administration deployed in delivering critical infrastructure, gave priority to continuation and completion of strategic projects, regular maintenance and construction of new ones in line with the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP).
He said his administration did not discontinue the project because it was in tune with the first pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, the six-pillar development initiative, which targets the provision of roads for expedited economic growth and seamless mobility.
He said: “I am delighted to stand before Lagosians today to celebrate the delivery of this landmark project which, again, reflects our administration’s belief in the principle of continuity in governance and demonstrates our commitment to the urgency of infrastructure development and the welfare of our people. The completion of this flyover and five network of roads sends a strong message about our determination to accelerate our futuristic vision for a world class transportation system complemented by a good network of roads for social and economic transformation.
“In order to address the challenge of huge traffic burden, the immediate past administration initiated and commenced the construction of a precast and pre-stressed reinforced concrete of 1.4km dual-carriage flyover and ramp, with road works across the Agege-Pen Cinema Intersection. As of May 2019 when this administration was inaugurated, this project was at about 20 per cent progress. With the delivery of this bridge, which is complemented with traffic signalisation and drainage channels, we have resolved the perennial traffic arising from huge human and vehicular movement from Agege-Pen Cinema Intersection towards Abule-Egba, Fagba, Oke Koto and Iyana Ipaja.”
To achieve quick turnaround in commuting on the bridge, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration identified and reconstructed five strategic arterial roads with good connectivity to adjoining roads that could serve as alternative bypasses to other routes when traffic is heavy.
The Governor said since road transportation remained crucial to economic growth and physical development, he believed the project would inject more life into socio-economic activities of people living and doing business in the area.
He said: “A key outcome from the strategic execution of this magnificent Pen Cinema Flyover project is that our administration has again demonstrated the priority it accords to the wellbeing of our people. It is a true test of our commitment to the Greater Lagos vision and a reflection of the achievability of our audacious socio-economic goals. In the course of implementing this project, we created jobs for about 380 people, including engineers, supervisors, artisans and others – a clear indicator of the nexus between infrastructure development and employment generation.”
Sanwo-Olu promised that his administration would not relent in the provision of infrastructure for coordinated and sustainable development that would help to improve the State’s performance on the Ease of Doing Business index.
Tinubu expressed confidence in Sanwo-Olu’s leadership, noting that the Governor had returned Lagos to stability after the economic turbulence occasioned by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and coordinated destruction of the State’s assets.
The APC National Leader, who described Sanwo-Olu as “a brilliant captain”, praised the collaboration between the executive and the legislative arms.
He said: “This is a commendable achievement by Sanwo-Olu, who has further brought Lagos on the path of progress, given the economic resuscitation this infrastructure will bring to this axis and entire Lagos. May you continue to think and perform to demonstrate excellent results as you have done today.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, an engineer, said the Agege axis is one of the busiest in vehicular activities in Lagos, adding that the bridge would bring back convenience to millions of residents commuting in the area.
She said: “The entire project consists of a dual carriageway, with bridge component of two lanes with 3.65 cm width on either directions. The road component consists of service lanes on either side of the bridge with median, kerbs and walkways that are complete with signalised traffic system. There are junction improvements with LED streetlight feature.”
Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, the Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, who represents Agege in the Assembly, described Sanwo-Olu as “a proactive, wonderful performer”, who always accomplishes any project he promises.
The adjoining roads commissioned with the flyover are: Iju Road, Oba Ogunji Road, Agunbiade Road, Oke Koto Intersection and Iyana Ipaja link road.