Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday on again gave assurance that the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red Line project would be completed as scheduled.
The Red Line will traverse on standard gauge from Agbado to Oyingbo, in the first phase, while terminating at Iddo in the second phase. It has eight stations and it is expected to reduce travel by over two hours. The state government has already bought Talgo trainsets from Wisconsin, United States for use on the Red Line.
After an extensive inspection of the ongoing construction activities around the project, which was the fourth time in a year he would be inspecting the pace of work on the 37-kilometre-long rail infrastructure wholly started by his administration, Sanwo-Olu expressed satisfaction at the quality of the work done, disclosing that most of the difficult tasks had been completed.
The transport infrastructure, which is being developed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, will have the capacity to transport over 500,000 passengers daily when it becomes operational in the first quarter of next year.
The entire construction, the Governor said after the inspection on Sunday, has moved into the finishing phase in which precast beams and other concrete fittings are being coupled to the constructed structures.
He said: “The Red Line is a project conceived and started by our government, which will be delivered in the lifetime of this administration. We have given our commitment to ensure the project is completed by the end of this year as promised. This is our fourth inspection trip on this project within the year alone and each time we come, there is significant progress that the contractor achieves along the rail corridor.
“Along the rail corridor, there is massive regeneration that is taking place and we have paid extensive amount in terms of compensation, far more than anyone else, for those affected by the construction activities. That is why we don’t have problem with members of the communities on this corridor. After inspecting the Agege station, we went on to check the Ikeja terminal, which happens to be the iconic station of the Red Line. Its size is almost about the size of three football fields together.
“As we have seen, all the stations inspected are at the roof level, moving into the completion stage. The civil work has been completed, it’s just the finishing job we are doing at the moment. All the activities are on schedule and we are hoping the best entire project will be completed by the end of the year. There are places that were particularly challenging for the contractor to do drilling due to high vehicular density. All the challenges have been overcome; what is left is concrete in-situ and placing of precast beams”.
Sanwo-Olu said the construction work on the overpasses were at different stages of completion but assured that all work would be done by December.
He said the work on the bridge on Awolowo Way onto Agege Motor Road and inward Mongoro Bus Stop remained on track and would finish by the end of October.
Sanwo-Olu said the Mushin overpass, which crosses from Kayode Street at Ikorodu Road to Agege Motor Road in Mushin, and the one at Yaba from Tejuosho exiting onto Murtala Muhammed Road, would be completed by November.
To eliminate human interference with the rail corridor, the Governor said the rail passageway would be walled off the residential areas. This, he said, would also prevent encroachment and unapproved commercial activities around the corridor.
Sanwo-Olu was accompanied on the project tour by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and cabinet members. He first stopped at the multi-level Agege Terminal, where he inspected completion work on the facility.
The Agege Red Line terminal shares the same yard with Babatunde Raji Fashola Station built by the Federal Government, but stands about 300 metres apart.
The Governor also inspected the staff quarters built by the state government for the railway workers in the employment of the Federal Government.
Sanwo-Olu, thereafter, led the team to the iconic Ikeja Station of the Red Line, where 80 per cent of the civil work had been completed. He also checked the progress of the overpass being constructed on Awolowo Way axis to ensure non-interference of vehicular movement on the rail passageway.