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Quality infrastructure and changing faces of Lagos’ landscape

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It is a state that occupies the smallest land mass and, arguably, the highest number of people in Nigeria.

On a daily basis, Nigerians from other states and foreigners flood Lagos State, which many have dubbed as the “Land of Dreams,” owing largely to its friendly business climate, welcoming allure and a city where hardworking people realise their legitimate dreams.

All over the four corners of Lagos, the buzz is real and palpable. No part of Lagos is spared of bustling commercial activities, ranging from petty trading, big merchandising, manufacturing concerns and hospitality firms.

To cope with the intense pressure on infrastructure in the state due to ever-increasing population, successive governments in Lagos since 1999 have been pro-active in, not just building new infrastructures, but expanding and upgrading on the existing ones.

The current administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has taken up that gauntlet with all the seriousness it deserves.

Since 2019, construction, reconstruction and upgrading of new roads and bridges, has been a cardinal focus of the governor. 2024 has been a particularly busy year in this regard.

Driving that objective through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, the state government has either completed or constructing several road and bridge projects in almost all the 20 local government areas and 33 Local Government Development Areas of the state.

A few of the projects being undertaken would suffice.

The most iconic, is the ongoing reconstruction of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, which first phase from Epe to Eleko Junction was commissioned a few months ago, while work is ongoing on from Eleko Junction to Ajah.

The already-completed section from Epe to Eleko junction has drawn plaudits from even the fiercest critics of the Sanwo-Olu administration. Built with solid concrete, the expected lifespan of the road is put at over 30 years. Completion of the road has not only reduced travel time and the wiped off the horrendous experience of commuters in time past, it has also boosted business and commercial activities along that route.

In other parts of the ever-bustling city, massive urban regeneration initiatives are in progress. For example, the Sanwo-Olu administration embarked upon the Ikeja Urban Regeneration Initiative aimed at re-engineering roads to improve traffic flow and address perennial flooding. The first phase of the project, include Oba Dosunmu, Oduduwa Crescent, Oduduwa Way and Sobo Arobiodu. According to the Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure to the governor, Engr. Olufemi Daramola, by embarking upon these projects, the state government intend to mitigate the effect of flooding, which has been a major outcry of the residents and, more importantly, providing good connectivity.

Another iconic project is the almost-completed Opebi-Mende-Maryland Link Bridge. The massive bridge, being handled by renowned construction giant, Julius Berger, when completed, would be a game-changer for residents and motorists commuting within the Ojota, Ikeja and Maryland axis. Slated for commissioning within the first quarter of 2025, its completion will, undoubtedly, provide relief for motorists heading to either Ojota or Maryland and Ikorodu Road from Allen Avenue, Opebi and Toyin Street, thereby decongesting the heavy traffic on the Mobolaji Bank Anthony Road.

Also ongoing is the reconstruction of Hospital Road in Badagry Local Government Area (Phase 1). This is a strategic road that connects Idale, Akarakunmoh, Povita, Topo and Ajido communities to Lagos-Badagry Expressway via Joseph Dosu Road. This phase commences from Market Junction to the Lagos State University (LASU).

The road is located close to the Marina in Badagry, where several tourist centres are located. These include Agiya Tree Monument, First Storey Building and Early Missionary Cemetery in Nigeria, Heritage Museum, Eko Theatre and Badagry VIP Chalets. When completed, the road project will also improve interconnectivity of communities and the transportation of goods and services to jetties for water transportation. The project is presently at 80 percent completion.

Also worth being cited is the ongoing reconstruction of the first phase of Old Ojo Road in Amuwo Odofin Local Government. Phase One of the project has a length of 4km and is being reconstructed into a dual carriageway to serve as a strategic bypass to Lagos-Badagry Expressway for motorists from Ajeromi Ifelodun local government area through Kirikiri town to link Ojo Local Government Area via Irede (Abule Oshun) Road. For ease of execution, the road project was divided into two phases with the phase one spanning Irede Road to Oluti Bus Stop in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area.

The Old Ojo Road which run parallel to Lagos-Badagry Expressway from Mazamaza to Trade Fair will also provide a functional bypass to the Lagos-Badagry Expressway when reconstructed. Already, 2600m (2.6km) of concrete pavement has been casted, while about 10,500 cubic meters of concrete were utilised for the casting works. These projects will eliminate the traffic bottleneck and stress previously associated with commuting through the Lagos-Badagry Expressway and inject considerable life into the socio-economic activities of thousands of people who live, do business or use it to connect their various destinations.

The axis is one of the busiest and most strategic on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway given its connection to the commercial nerve-centre of Amuwo Odofin and other Inland Waterways terminal with major linkages leading to densely-populated and commercial areas. Almost all the precast drain elements for the project have been installed on both sides of the carriageway and over a 100 skilled workforce have been engaged for the project thus far.

When completed, the project, apart from serving the container terminals, would also complement the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is also at an advanced stage of completion. Overall, the project has achieved 60 per cent completion, and the contractors have promised to deliver as scheduled.

In furtherance of the Greater Lagos vision for a more prosperous state and robust economy in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S+ Agenda, infrastructural upgrade of roads in Ilabere, Ilu, and Inupa Roads in Eti-Osa Local Government Area are also ongoing. These roads are strategic, as they connect with different sections of Ikoyi. They have a combined length of about 1,500m and will complement the rehabilitation of the other roads previously delivered (the Ikoyi I and II projects), which have been completed.

Aside from improving interconnectivity within the axis, the construction of the roads will also address flooding that is usually experienced during the rainy season. The roads are proposed for construction as single-carriageways. Awarded on the 10 May 12023, the length of the road is 1500m with a 7.3m width, and has a 16-month completion period.

The Alimosho Local Government area is not left out in Sanwo-Olu’s vision for Lagos in infrastructural renewal. Currently in progress is the construction of Babafemi Dada-Yinka Folarin-Jamiu Lawal and Shalom Academy Road network consisting 1.57km semi-rigid pavement road and a 250m long deck on piles bridge that replaces a former wooden bridge previously used by motorists.

Upon completion, the road network will provide motorable access for the Baruwa community and its environs, as well as serve as a shorter route for motorists linking LASU-Iba road with Candos Road in Ayobo. While the provision of pavement with interlocking paving stone is ongoing, the construction of the first 10m approach into all adjoining roads is at 90 percent completion. Overall, the contractor has attained 80 percent progress.

Residents of Oke-Ira, College Road and Obawole in Ifako-Ijaye Local Government Area are also feeling the impact of the state government in the provision of quality infrastructure, courtesy the construction of the Abiola-Onijemo link road with a bridge. This life-changing project is in line with the state government’s goal to prevent flooding, improve the environmental status of the communities and provide an effective bypass to traffic gridlock.

The road is also a strategic link from College Road through Ajayi Street, Ogba to Haruna/Obawole/Iju-Ishaga in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area and Ojodu Local Government. Upon completion, the project is expected to improve interconnectivity of roads within the axis.

With the final launch and installation of the pre-cast beam/girders being undertaken, the completion of the bridge works is almost in sight. Overall, the project (bridge and road works) is currently at 70 per cent.

With these aforementioned and many other transformational projects on the verge of completion, it is a no-brainer that Sanwo-Olu is determined to improve the quality of life in Lagos State, provide a more conducive environment for businesses to thrive and take the state’s economy to far greater heights.

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