The Ogun State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Arc. Olamilekan Adegbite, has debunked newspaper reports that the construction work on the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail has been suspended over right of way issues and a flyover bridge at Ijoko, Ogun State.
Adegbite said in a statement on Tuesday that the Ijoko flyover bridge has not only met the standard regulation of 5.4 metres, it has also saved the Federal Government of the additional cost of constructing a new bridge across the railway crossing at Ijoko.
“According to Engineering Standards and Regulations in Nigeria, bridges must have a standard clearance of 5.4 metres. So the bridges at Apapa Oshodi Expressway, Bank Anthony Way, Lagos, and the new bridge being constructed by the Ogun State Government at Ijoko have all met the standard clearance as these bridges allow the train to pass as it is. Even the new standard gauge would pass under the bridge successfully”, Adegbite explained.
“While the Federal Government is thinking of closing some roads in Lagos because of the rail project, Ogun State case is different because we have provided the solution for the Federal Government by constructing the Ijoko bridge which has a standard clearance. With the construction of this bridge, courtesy of the Ogun State government, the funds which the Federal Government would have expended in providing this infrastructure have been saved”, the commissioner added.
He said because of the strategic importance of Ijoko road, being the major axis from Otta into the Agbado and Akute areas of Ogun State, the government cannot afford to shut down the road which the Federal Government delegation, led by the Honourable Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, also agreed.
Adegbite pointed out that the Ogun State government constructed the Ijoko bridge to stop the frequent incessant deaths of pedestrians and traders by moving trains on the railway crossing.
He said the government had taken into consideration the standard requirement for the construction of the bridge with the full knowledge of the Nigerian Railway Corporation which allows its trains to pass.
The commissioner explained that in order to accommodate the electric power for the train in the future, there is need for additional one-metre clearance taking the minimal required to 6.2 metres.
A solution was finally agreed which is applicable at all overhead bridges, therefore, to cater for the rail line lowered by one metre dipping gradually over 500 metres on both sides with a slope of 0.2 percent.
He said the solution was agreed upon by parties made up of the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the Consultant to the project, the Contractor, representative of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, engineers from both the federal and state ministries.