Finally, after three shifts in completion date, the Agege Pen Cinema Flyover was commissioned last week by the Lagos State Government, bringing succour and excitement to residents and commuters at an event many saw as a testimony that the government’s decision to construct the bridge was a right one.
The flyover was conceived to transmit vehicular traffic across the intersection at Agege for the purpose of resolving the perennial traffic gridlocks peculiar to the area for many years. The entire project consists of a dual carriageway 1.4kilometre flyover component, with two lanes of 3.65 metres width each in either direction, with ramps, including the rehabilitation of five adjoining roads. The road component includes service lanes on either side of the bridge, with median, kerbs, walkways, signalised traffic system, junction improvements with low emission LED streetlights.
According to the state government, the bridge was designed in accordance with the standard specifications for highway bridges. Its alignment is along Agunbiade Street and spans across the intersections of Old Abeokuta Road, railway corridor and Iju-Ishaga Road, which terminates near the entrance gate of Ijaiye Low-Cost Housing Estate along Oba Ogunji Road into Old Abeokuta Road, towards Abule-Egba through a ramp across the railway corridor. The ramp, the state government said, was to enhance vehicular movement towards Abule-Egba and environs to reduce the incessant traffic gridlocks experienced in the area over the years.
Many residents told The Guardian, like the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor, Aramide Adeyoye, said at the commissioning ceremony, that the flyover would not only change the skyline of the area but also ease traffic on the Agege corridor.
Ganiyat Adeleke, who commended the state government for constructing the bridge, said it is now much more convenient and easier to get to her office, noting that pedestrian lanes on the adjoining new roads built along with bridge make it easier to walk along the area. She also said the project has reduced dust that often builds up around the area as well as travel time in and out of the axis. For Moshood Abiodun, the flyover is a positive development for the community, even as he recalled that residents and commuters suffered a lot while it was being constructed, saying the project would open up the area and give room for a lot of opportunities for residents and businesses around the community. He added that it is now easier and faster to commute, compared to before and when the bridge was being constructed, just as the bridge would also serve many residing outside Agege, especially those wishing to connect Ikeja and Oshodi, rather than going through the major expressway.
On his part, Victor Ihanacho, a trader, was optimistic that with the bridge, commercial activities would improve around the Agege corridor, which would mean more patronage and business growth. Motorist, Olajide Olatunji, said the bridge has added value as it has reduced and removed the constant traffic gridlock the area was noted for, saying for many motorists who use the corridor, it would reduce the stress they go through commuting daily. He was optimistic that with the bridge, street trading, which is very common within the corridor, would reduce drastically since there would be no slow traffic that gives room for street traders and traffic hawkers to operate.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had at the commissioning ceremony, said the project was executed in the quest to achieve the Transportation and Traffic Management Pillar (TTP) in the administration’s strategic THEMES Agenda, deliberately focusing on the provision of infrastructure to achieve pre-conceived targets of reducing travel time, save important man-hours that would have been otherwise lost to traffic, provide better riding surface leading to reduced maintenance cost, boost inter-connectivity and generally make life more meaningful to commuters in the state.
“In line with the State Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP), we deployed a two-pronged approach to infrastructure delivery, so as to bring immediate impactful succour and relief to commuters. To address the challenge of this huge traffic burden, we decided to continue with the construction of a Precast and Pre-stressed Reinforced Concrete Dual-carriage Flyover and Ramp, with road works, across the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection, which was then at about 20 percent completion.
Sanwo-Olu was very optimistic that the flyover would help resolve the perennial gridlocks arising from the huge human and vehicular traffic flowing through the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection. “In the days ahead, commuters will bear witness to the improved vehicular movement and traffic flow, with the attendant positive impact on businesses and living in the area. As transportation is the livewire that moves every economy, this project will inject considerable life into the socio-economic activities of thousands of people who live, do business or use it to connect their various destinations. It will enhance productive exchanges, boost trade, eliminate traffic bottleneck and stress previously associated with commuting through the intersection and improve the quality of life of all users. To date, our administration has continued to provide the necessary infrastructure for coordinated and sustainable development, thereby offering relief to our people and promoting our performance index on the Ease of Doing Business matrix.
“Also, through the delivery of this project, we have been able to demonstrate the linkage of delivery of road infrastructure to employment generation, (creating jobs for about 380 persons, including engineers, supervisors, artisans and others). It also shows a component of continuity in governance.
“A key outcome emanating from the strategic execution of this project is that our administration has again demonstrated the topmost priority it accords the welfare and well-being of the people. It is a testament to our commitment to the Greater Lagos Vision.”
Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said the completion of the project shows the collaboration and strong relationship that exists between the legislative and executive arms of government. Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Abiodun Tobun, said the project would improve the economic and social wellbeing of the area.