The contractor handling construction of the iconic Oshodi Transport Interchange on behalf of the Lagos State Government, Planet Projects Limited has completed the hoisting of Skywalk Bridge linking terminals one and two of the interchange.
The exercise, which started on Sunday evening and lasted till the early hours of Wednesday, was supervised by relevant government agencies, and supported by Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), among others to ensure security and safety.
The state government had announced partial restriction of movement on Oshodi flyover to enable it advance the construction of the transport interchange.
Giving details on the exercise, Managing Director of Planet Projects, Mr. Biodun Otunola said the hoisting of the pedestrian bridge of the Oshodi transport interchange was a significant milestone in the construction of the project, saying that all hands were on deck to ensure the interchange is delivered between October and November, 2018.
“This bridge is the longest free-standing bridge in the history of this country. It spanned 53.2metres. It is only supported at the two ends without any support at the middle and it is part of the skywalk for the Oshodi Transport Interchange.
“This particular one links terminal one and terminal two. We also have another one that is linking terminals two and three and that is about 155metres long. The plan is that people can move from one end of the terminal to another be it from terminal one, two and three and then the nature of the terminal is such that we have six lifts and one escalator, and so in all we have 18 lifts and three escalators.
“For anyone to access each of the sky bridges, you have to use the lift and we also have a staircase for emergency exit. The skywalk is part of the features of the Oshodi Transport Interchange designed to make travel pleasurable, enjoyable, safe and more comfortable for commuting Lagosians,” Otunola said.
Also speaking, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Mr Taiwo Salaam, said the exercise was a critical stage of the construction of the interchange, saying it was in line with the vision of the State Government to redefine public transportation in the state.
“What is happening here is connectivity of terminal one and two of the transport interchange which has three terminals. It is a skywalk for pedestrians to link the terminals and this is an intermodal connectivity that is taking place.
“The dream of Lagos State Government under his Excellency, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is to bring a befitting public-passenger transport that is sustainable, safe, frequent and reliable to people and the new Bus Reform Project needs all these appurtenances and infrastructure to be able to effectively run public-passenger transportation,” Salaam said.
He said the Oshodi interchange, when operational, would process minimum of one million passengers daily, while the Ikeja Bus Terminal which was constructed as part of the vision to transform public transportation would process 600,000 passengers daily.
“If we compare the two with processing of passengers to local and international airport, they are far below at about 21,000 passengers, and so for us in Lagos, we believe there is need to bequeath functional, efficient, safe and comfortable transportation system to our people,” Salaam said.
He said as part of plan for intermodal transport system, work was progressing on the Blue Line as well as Red Line Rail projects, while the State Government was also constructing new ferry routes and jetties to boost water transportation.
For his part, General Manager of LASEMA, Mr Adesina Tiamiyu said the agency was principally at the scene of the construction to provide the necessary safety backup and help to ensure hitch-free exercise.
“As an agency, the Oshodi interchange is a massive project and we are here first to give support to the project and secondly, we have also come with the capacity that we have to be able to provide an emergency services if the need arises.
“We have medical team with an ambulance on standby; we have lifting capacity with a forklift that could assist if they need them; we also have tow trucks because we have done some diversions here and if there are issues with broken down vehicles, we have to quickly do that so that we don’t lock up this road,” Tiamiyu said.
Meanwhile, the State Government has commended motorists and residents for their understanding and cooperation while the hoisting of the skywalk bridge lasted.
Salaam said the total cooperation of motorists during the period the flyover was closed to traffic, led to the completion of the installation process without any hitch.
The state government also commended the project team led by Messrs Planet Projects Limited, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies community for making the exercise come to completion safely and without any incidents.