The Lagos State Government has expressed its resolve to complete the Regional Road Project at Lekki in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state, appealing to residents for understanding on the nerve-wracking traffic in the area.
The government said the project, when completed would eliminate gridlock and foster inter-connectivity between Lagos Island and the Mainland.
The state’s Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, gave the assurance on Thursday at a stakeholders’ meeting at Alausa in Ikeja to sensitise Lagos residents on the project at the Lekki axis.
Salako said the project was important to the socio-economic development of Lagos State and would run parallel to the Lekki-Epe Expressway, to ease the perennial gridlock on the axis.
He added that the project was important for the emergence of the planned 4th Mainland Bridge.
“It is equally worthy to note that the Lekki Regional Road is a precursor to the long-awaited 4th Mainland Bridge. The 4th Mainland Bridge cannot survive without the regional road.”
Salako said that Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu had recognised the link between infrastructure development and socio-economic growth and was committed to providing good road network on the Lekki axis and other parts of the state.
He stated that the governor was interested in the improvement of inter-connectivity of places with major transportation channels such as the Lekki regional road.
“The regional road was conceived by the Lagos State Government in the Lagos Metropolitan Masterplan (1980-2000).
“The road was identified in the 1991 Layout Approval, issued by the State Government as a strategy to engender the socio-economic development of the Lekki Corridor.
“Others in the retinue include, the Coastal Road, Lekki-Epe Expressway, southern part of Elegushi land and Lagoon Highway.
“The idea was reinforced by the Strategic Transportation Master Plan (STMP) Development, 2012 as well as the Lekki Comprehensive Master Plan of 2013.
“It is, therefore, long overdue as a panacea and strategic link to circumvent the transportation gridlock from Mainland Lagos to Island Lagos.”
The commissioner said the project would span over nine kilometers, starting close to Victoria Garden City Junction, where an interchange was proposed for efficient connectivity with Lekki-Epe Expressway.
According to him, the alignment corridor transverses the Lagos Lagoon and intercepts Chevron Drive through Cowrie Creek Estate, Kusenla and terminates at Freedom Way.
Salako said that Sanwo-Olu had approved reduction in the width of the right of way path to reduce the number of property encroaching on the proposed alignments to be demolished.
He appealed to residents of Eti-Osa Local Government Area to cooperate with government toward speedy completion of the project, scheduled to be delivered in two years.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that a comprehensive environmental impact assessment was carried out before choosing the project alignment.
Adeyoye, while giving measurements of the road and its diameters, said that experts and state officials had visited the alignment six times, to recover the right of way of the project.
She said that the designs, alignments and other considerations adopted international best practices, adding that the government was running an open and transparent policy.
Responding to concerns of flooding, raised by some residents, Adeyoye said that the drainage channelisation would be mixed with some sections discharging into a canal and the other to the lagoon.
She added that there were enough outfalls in the design to avert flooding.
The adviser appealed for support and cooperation of residents, assuring that compensations would be paid as at when due.
“I want to reassure everyone, we will partner with you. Let this road be done in good time,’’ she said.
Earlier, the lawyer representing the residents, Mr Sanni Adewale, challenged the project tittle, insisting that the road was not located in Lekki and such the name should be changed to reflect Eti-Osa.
Adewale also protested the planned tolling of the highway, stating that it was unfair to add another toll plaza to the already existing two toll gates to over-burden Eti-Osa LGA residents.
“Don’t toll the road. It will be too much for one local government. We will not accept the tolling of that place. We are begging,’’ he said.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi, who doubles as a government official and a resident of Eti-Osa, joined other state officials in appealing for residents’ support backing his argument with historical evidences.
He advised the residents to focus on making the project a reality, pointing out that government had renamed some projects being contested in the past on the axis and assured that the project would not be an exemption.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that federal and state lawmakers alongside other top officials took turns to share their perspectives on the importance of the project, while appealing for peace and understanding of the residents.
Also present at the meeting were traditional rulers and leaders of various agencies under the ministries of physical planning and urban development as well as works and infrastructure. (NAN)