By Monsur Olowoopejo
LAGOS—THE Lagos State Government yesterday said it was looking at other possible options, other than the bringing down the Jibowu and Costain overhead bridges in order to accommodate the $1.5bn Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Monday said that the Federal Government intends to bring down both bridges to create space for the smooth passage of the standard gauge trains that will be running between Lagos and Ibadan.
Lagos state Acting Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos State, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, told Vanguard yesterday that although the state is yet to be informed of the decision officially, but bringing down the bridges will definitely affect traffic situation in the State.
According to him, “I was not there when the Minister said that they want to bring down and rebuild those two bridges, but I can remember the Chinese guys trying to explain to the Minister the implication and cost of removing those two bridges.
“But what we intend to communicate to the Minister as regards those two bridges, is that instead of rebuilding them, why not dig a little bit deeper into the ground to create space for the standard gauge trains.
“This will enable the trains to go a little bit deeper into the ground and then come out to the normal ground level just after the bridge. I think that will save more money. I will see how we can communicate that idea to the Minister of Transportation. “
The Minister of Transportation had on Monday while inspecting sections of the Lagos-Ibadan rail projects in Ewekoro and Papalanto explained that two flyover bridges in Lagos will have to be demolished to create a way for the rail project.
“This is a continuation of the narrow gauge line. The narrow gauge line had to come into papalanto at Kajola and Ijoko to create space for the standard gauge line going to Ibadan.
“They have told me that by December, they will start laying the tracks. So by December 2018, it should be completed. There are no hitches in this part of the project unlike in Lagos where we have to pay compensation for gas and water pipes removal.
“At Ijoko, the train will go down 3metres to accommodate the overhead bridge there. There are only two bridges that will go down for the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, and they are the Jibowu to Ojuelegba overhead bridge and the Constain overhead bridge.
“We will demolish them, rebuild them and raise their height so that the trains can go under them,” the Minister of Transportation stated while fielding questions from journalists.
When contacted, Information commissioner, Mr Steve Ayorinde, also promised to reach out to Vanguard when the government makes its position on the plan known.