The Lagos State Government, yesterday, performed a brief ceremony to signal the resumption of construction work on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which was abandoned in the last four years.
The 60-kilometre expressway begins from Eric Moore Road and ends at Okokomaiko and is being reconstructed from four lanes to 10 lanes by Chinese Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC).
Following yesterday’s ceremony, construction work will now begin at the third section- Agboju to Trade Fair Complex- and it is expected to last for one year. The sections 1 and 2 of the expressway- from Eric Moore to Agboju have been completed.
Lagos state Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who flagged off the reconstruction work, described it as massive, adding that “this is to say that we will again begin work on this road, and by the grace of God, the road from Agboju to the Lagos International Trade Fair will be completed in one year, from four to 10 lanes.”
Hamzat appealed to Lagos residents to cooperate with the contractor to ensure smooth delivery of the section of the expressway, explaining that the road project started in March 2009, and 10 years into the project, Eric-Moore to Mile-2 and Mile-2 to Agboju section has been completed, while Agboju to Trade Fair is being flagged off for completion.
The deputy governor said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration was aware of the importance of the project and promised to ease the inconvenience being faced by citizens on the road, pointing out that on June 2, just three days after the inauguration of Sanwo-Olu’s administration, both himself and the governor were at the project site where they assured Lagos residents that work would resume on the project. “That is why we are here today to fulfil that promise,” he added.
According to him, palliative work would be done from Trade Fair to Okokomaiko to make the road motorable for people, adding that the state government was working with the federal government to make the road accessible to Seme border.
He said, “As of today, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, which is in charge of road maintenance, has awarded the rehabilitation of the four lanes from Igbo-Elerin to Agbara. This is because on that axis, you have pipelines and various infrastructure that need to be preserved, but at least, it will be motorable for residents and there will be no bottlenecks.
“In the course of this project, there will be diversions, and we are appealing to citizens to be patient and cooperate with the contractors so that people will not get injured, because machines will be moved in here. We need to cooperate to make the work easier for quick delivery and for the benefit of residents. Help government to monitor the reconstruction project and the pace of work, send SMS to us so we can take action.”
The Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Olujimi Houtonu said the road is one of the gateways of Nigeria that connects Seme, Republic of Benin and other countries in the west coast.
Houtonu said the road is heavily congested, with a journey of 15 to 30 minutes now taking between three to four hours, adding that the extreme congestion has a significant impact on economic activities, adding that it also reduces the potential for future growth and is largely detrimental to the quality of life of residents on the axis.
The General Manager, CCECC, Bill Bian, said the scope of work included provision of lay-bys, pedestrian bridges, flyovers, toll plazas, road signs and traffic lights.