By Adeola Badru
THE Federal Government has disclosed that four pedestrian bridges would be introduced between Ibadan tollgate and Ojoo in the course of the ongoing reconstruction of the Lagos – Ibadan road project.
The Director, Federal Highways, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Abuja, Mr. Funsho Adebiyi, made the disclosure, yesterday in Ibadan, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the meeting held with the Oyo State Government representatives within the state secretariat complex, Agodi Ibadan.
Adebiyi said the response of the Oyo State Government through the Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka and the Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof Daud Sangodoyin, to their discussion, was positive and encouraging.
He posited that there was the need to form a synergy between the State and Federal governments to collaborate on the delivery of some federal highway projects in the state: “of particular importance is the Lagos -Ibadan project.”
He said: “Because of the end result on this road, we are introducing four pedestrian bridges between Ojoo and Tollgate as a result of the heavy build-up areas and the density is quite high.”
“So we want to introduce pedestrian bridges so that people can cross over when the road is completed. We are looking at constructing four major ones but we are discussing with the Oyo state government if they would want to fund a few more.”
“Apart from pedestrian bridges we are thinking of streetlights as well, the state government may want to collaborate with Federal Government in putting on the streetlights on the road,” the Director stated.
Adebiyi further explained: “Ibadan tollgate and Ojoo is one of the busiest section of the Lagos -Ibadan project, and the traffic volume – both vehicular and human is high, azzle load is quite high also.”
“While construction activities are kicking off there, we will need to close some sections to work and open other sections; it may be a segment of four- kilometres interval.”
“A traffic diversion – human and vehicular will be necessary; this is why we have to collaborate with the Oyo state government in the area of traffic control for easy delivery of the project.”
“Another aspect is the issue of illegal structures on the right ways of the road, which will interrupt our construction activities.”
“Since it is the state government that authorised either officially or not, the construction of these structures in the rightways of the road; it is just for the best interest of both parties for the state government to use an appropriate agency to evacuate these illegal structures to allow us to gain our right of ways, to do our job.”
He, however, ruled out paying compensation to owners of structures to be demolished on the rightways of the road, saying such structures were illegal.
The Federal Highways director disclosed that Gov Seyi Makinde had agreed that they needed to come back and dedicate a date when both of them would go round the FG projects going on in the state, “especially Tollgate to Ojoo section of the Lagos -Ibadan Highway.
“This will make the governor have a feel of what the Federal Government is doing and also look for ways to solve challenges that would likely emerge as the project progresses.”
He appealed passionately to motorists and other road users to show passion, empathy, take ownership and bear with the inconveniences while the construction is going on.
On the level of completion of Lagos-Ibadan road, the director said the project was over halfway gone, and that the project is due for commission within the first quarter of 2022.
According to him, there are other projects going on in Oyo State like Oyo – Ogbomoso highway, Ibadan-Ife-Ilesha highway and Oyo – Iseyin road.
He said work would soon commence on Ibadan- Ife – Ilesha road, saying the project is in the 2021 budget and hoped that the National Assembly would vote sufficient funds for the project to kick start construction work in a big way, disclosing that other Federal Government projects and emergency repairs were going on across the state.