By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the National leader, All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Friday unveiled the multi-billion naira Pen Cinema Bridge in Agege, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Thousands of residents breached COVID-19 protocols to witness the unveiling of the massive project started during the administration of Akinwunmi Ambode.
“One of the most critical challenges being experienced on daily basis by residents/road users along Agege Pen Cinema axis over the years was the heavy traffic volume occasioned by the geometric increase in traffic volume.
“Residents and road users along this axis have clamoured for a solution to the suffocating nature of the perennial traffic gridlock occasioned by the huge human and vehicular traffic, flowing through this intersection.
“To address the challenge of this huge traffic burden, our administration decided to continue with construction of a Precast and Pre-stressed Reinforced Concrete Dual-carriage Flyover and Ramp, with road works, across the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection which was then at about twenty percent completion,” Sanwo-Olu said while giving his speech at the unveiling of the project.
He said this was in line with the first pillar of the THEMES Agenda which targeted the provision of roads as a critical infrastructure that would support economic activities, enable commercial interactions and ensure ease of commuting from one part of the state to another through elimination of traffic gridlocks.
Sanwo-Olu added that prior to the construction of this flyover, the increase in traffic volume across the critical business hub and the resultant congestion was a serious challenge to commuters who thronged the axis for businesses and the residents.
“As part of efforts to eliminate gridlocks on major roads around the axis, we identified for reconstruction works some major arterial roads with good connectivity to adjoining roads that could serve as alternative bypasses to other arterial roads, especially during heavy/peak traffic periods, thus helping to free up more traffic
“The Bridge alignment is along Agunbiade Street (along Oke-Koto junction) and spans across the intersections of Old Abeokuta Road, Railway Corridor and Iju-Isaga Road and terminates near the entrance gate of Ijaiye Low Cost Housing Estate along Oba-Ogunji Road.
“The Bridge is also design to convey traffic from Oba-Ogunji Road into Old Abeokuta towards Abule Egba through ramp across Railway Corridor. This ramp will greatly enhance vehicular movement towards Abule Egba, Fagba and its environs just as it would reduce incessant traffic gridlocks being experience over the years in the area.
“To provide some context, the 1.4km Flyover Bridge has a dual carriageway with 2 lanes of 3.65m width each includes the improvement of road surface around the Agege Pen Cinema axis. It also consisted of dualization, expansion, construction and rehabilitation of 5 Network of Roads and Junctions with turning radius improvement.
“Provision of new drainage system; Re-routing some roads and traffic signalisation are some of the innovative solutions that were carefully designed to ease the daily gridlock being experienced by commuters in this area.” he stated.
Sanwo-Olu said through the delivery of the Pen Cinema Bridge which was conceived to transmit vehicular traffic across the intersections at Agege, his administration would be resolving the perennial traffic gridlocks arising from the huge human and vehicular traffic, flowing through the Agege Pen Cinema Intersection.
He added that in the days ahead, commuters would bear witness to the improved vehicular movement and traffic flow with the attendant positive impact on businesses and living in the area.
“As transportation is the livewire and wheel that moves every economy, this project will inject considerable life into the socio-economic activities of thousands of people who live, do business or use it to connect their various destinations.
“It will enhance productive exchanges, boost trade, eliminate the traffic bottleneck and stress previously associated with commuting through the intersection and improve the quality of life of all users,” he said.
The governor stated that a key outcome emanating from the strategic execution of the Pen Cinema Flyover Project was that his administration had again demonstrated the topmost priority it accorded the welfare and well-being of the people.
Speaking at the event, Tinubu commended Sanwo-Olu for a great performance, for steering the ship of the state to a safe habour.