Costain and Jibowu bridges on Lagos Mainland will soon be demolished to pave way for the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaech, has said.
Amaechi spoke yesterday at Papalanto in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, ending speculations on the fate of the Lagos bridges.
The Chinese contractor, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), had identified the bridges as being too low for the head room projected for the proposed speed train.
The minister said the Ijoko Bridge in Ogun State would not be demolished, adding that stakeholders agreed that the rail tracks should go down by a few metres to give them the right height under the bridge.
Speaking after a tour of the project with other members of the steering committee, Amaechi said it was decided that though the two bridges would be demolished, they would be rebuilt immediately to avoid disruption of the state’s pattern of mobility.
Amaechi said the two bridges carry a huge cargo and passenger traffic.
On the project, Amaechi disclosed that CCECC will begin to lay the tracks from Lagos in December, while that of Papanlanto to Ibadan will start by next May.
Amaechi, who restated Federal Government’s commitment to the December 2018 deadline for the project, said the areas that pose the greatest challenges are Lagos, Abeokuta and Ibadan, especially the cities’ built-up areas.
According to him, major infrastructure, such as bridges, electric cables, water and gas pipelines, houses and telecommunications cables, would be relocated to give the project a smooth sail.
He expressed the confidence that despite the challenges, the Presidential Order to deliver the project remained on course.
Amaechi said he was confident that CCECC’s work flow was in tandem with the work plan designed by the Ministry of Transportation and its stakeholders.
He added: “I have seen that the contractor has put three different gangs in place: the first at Ebute Metta, the second at Ijoko and the third at Papalanto, all of which are working simultaneously. If this pace is maintained, we have no doubt that we will be able to deliver this project to Nigerians on schedule.”
The minister urged the Project Coordinator, Mr Leo Yin, to complete the necessary documentation to enable the government provide tight security on the project site.
He visited Ijoko, Itori and Papalanto community in Ogun State as part of the monthly site monitoring of the project.
Yin expressed the confidence that the project would be delivered by December 2018.