By Heaven kalu, AST staff… The long awaited Lagos-Abeokuta expressway was commissioned yesterday by the Governor of Lagos State and declared open for use. Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday commissioned the two newly-built bridges in Ajah and Abule-Egba, stating that it would not only help reduce travel time but also boost economic activities within the corridors.
Ambode noted that in the quest to build a globally competitive city-state, one strategic emphasis of his administration has been to improve connectivity in the state. He said his administration has embarked on deliberate actions to create innovative solutions to the challenge of ensuring a free-flow of traffic within the city.
“This Jubilee Bridge will eliminate the traffic jam usually experienced on this road while the Freedom and Admiralty roads will provide an alternative route to the Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge, thereby, easing traffic at Lekki Phase 1.
“We had to give this project priority because of its strategic importance to the economic growth of the Lekki Free Trade Zone and the Ibeju-Lekki-Epe axis. This axis will play a key role in the future prosperity of Lagos as the home to many multi-billion Naira private investments in the Lekki Free Trade Zone as well as the upcoming seaport and airport.”
At Abule-Egba, the governor said the construction of the bridge was the beginning of a process to transform the axis to the new economic hub of the state, assuring that the ongoing Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lane from Oshodi to Abule Egba would be followed by another BRT lane from Abule Egba to Ogun State border.
Already, he said all adjoining roads disrupted in the course of the construction have been awarded for rehabilitation, while a shopping mall would be constructed opposite the Oke-Odo Market to further boost economic activities in the axis.
Residents of the state who trooped to the Abule Egba area to catch a glimpse of the new bridge expressed delights at the state-of-the-art infrastructure built by Craneburg construction firm. Many of them told The Guardian they fell in love with its fanciful slip roads and water fountain.
Femi Benson, a resident of Agege area of the state, said: “I was born in Lagos and I know what I’m seeing here now; it has surpassed my expectation. We thank the governor for what he has done and urge other state governments to emulate Lagos in terms of development.”
Shortly after the commissioning at Abule Egba and the departure of the governor and his entourage, it was a hellish experience for many as thugs took over the area brandishing dangerous weapons to fight themselves in a free-for-all. Phones were snatched from passersby and motorists until a combined force of policemen were drafted to the scene to restore peace.