Lagos to Open Yaba, Ikeja Along Bridges to Traffic Next Month

The Yaba and Ikeja Along bridges will be opened to vehicular movement next month, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said.

He spoke yesterday when he inspected the infrastructure component of the Red Rail Line.

The governor said more bridges would be built in conjunction with the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).

The Red Rail Line has eight major stations – Agbado, Iju, Agege, Ikeja, Mushin, Yaba, Ebute Metta and Iddo/Oyingbo.

The trains will use the tracks built by the Federal Government while it will take a minimum of 1,000 passengers per ride.

Sanwo-Olu said government was on track to deliver the project before the end of the year.

He said the contract of Phase 2 of the Blue Line had been awarded, and would hopefully be completed faster than the first phase.

He said: “We have seen the state of infrastructure on our Red Rail Line corridor, and we are impressed. We are also on track to deliver the project before year end. However, there is still work to be done, especially clearing of illegal structures around the tracks and general clean-up of the axis. While some of the bridges are completed, some are about 98 per cent ready, and we will start opening them to vehicular movement from October before the train starts work officially.

“We will also step up security enforcement to prevent intruders from accessing the railway corridor. We have spoken to traders and other illegal occupants to vacate because we have to ensure security of passengers. Change is an attitude and a way of life; people cannot remain on the tracks. We might also consider erecting concrete barricades as a security measure.

“We want passengers to have a total lifestyle experience within the train stations, that is why they are large enough to accommodate a variety of ventures. The Ikeja station is the largest in Africa and even Europe because we want it to be a hub of mega businesses. Passengers can have a total lifestyle experience connecting the train ride to the BRT ride as the Red Line is also accessible with the cowry card.”

Sanwo-Olu urged passengers taking the Blue Line to exercise patience while boarding and appealed to them to be orderly and allow passengers to disembark before boarding, as that, according to him, was the normal procedure.

Those who accompanied the governor on the inspection were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; Commissioners Gbenga Omotoso (Information), Tokunbo Wahab (Environment and Water Resources), Seun Osiyemi (Transport), Ope George (Economic Planning and Budget), Sola Giwa (S.A Transport), Managing Director of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Bimbo Akinajo, among others.