By Kingsley Adegboye
Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat last week, unveiled plans to construct seven pedestrian bridges in different parts of the state. The Commissioner also debunked allegations that the road construction and development agenda of the Fashola administration favours some localities over others in the state.
Hamzat who made the clarification while responding to questions from journalists at the annual ministerial briefing of his ministry, explained that the road projects being executed by his ministry showed a preference for the Lekki- Ajah axis, noted that the choice of a project is determined by factors such as population and traffic count and not the whims of any individual. The ministerial briefing was meant to review the ministry’s projects in the past one year.
He stated that projects across the state take cognizance of the need of each community as well as the overall development of the state, adding that “an overall evaluation shows that communities benefit from different government’s projects depending on established needs”.
Hamzat who declared that the allegation of concentration in a particular axis was unfounded, said the “ignored” communities have more projects than the so called favoured ones based on available statistics.
Also responding on government’s plans to construct seven pedestrian bridges across the state, the Commissioner said the plan is to ensure the preservation of lives. He pointed out that the choice of the seven locations was based on the available funds and the needs of the areas. According to him, the seven locations include Cement Bus Stop, Ijaiye Bus Stop, Iddo, Loco, Igbobi, Ile- Epo and Secretariat Bus-Stops.
He explained that the ongoing reconstruction of Lagos- Ibadan Expressway has denied the Berger point a pedestrian bridge, as it may end up being demolished if constructed. According to him, the rehabilitation of the expansion joints of bridges across Lagos such as Carter Bridge, Eko Bridge, Oke-Afa/Agbe Bridge, Dopemu Bridge, Iyana-Ipaja Bridge, Alhaji Masha Road Bridge and Itolowo Bridge have also been awarded by the state government.
The Commissioner stressed that the state government found it necessary to construct pedestrian bridges on federal roads due to regular occurrence of accidents as a result of pedestrian crossing on highways not minding the huge cost involved in the construction of the bridges.
Hamzat emphasized that the road projects across the state are designed to serve as a strategic by-pass for motorists which when completed will raise the property value in such areas as well as improve the standard of living of the people and enhance interaction.
According to the Commissioner, the open space currently housing a series of offices or serving as annexes and public car park is also up for redevelopment into a multi agency building that will add to the available office space at the secretariat in Alausa. He said that the multi agency building will enhance the inter MDA’s networking, improve delivery as well as reduce huge resources currently being expended on rented spaces for these agencies.
He further described the project as a three- in- one assemblage that consists of the following features; two floors as parking area, parking space for 600 vehicles, elevators , stairways, gym, restaurants/ canteens, conference areas, waiting areas and three structures having pedestrians interlinks. He also added that at the end of phase 1, the car park facility would be available for partial use.