The Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line project which is near completion needs to be completely furnished and safety features put in place, including cleaning up of illegal activities being conducted around the rail corridor before it will be opened to the public.
According to a statement by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the Governor undertook a comprehensive inspection of the Red Line infrastructure, traversing the major stations of the rail project on Wednesday alongside the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, and members of the State cabinet.
He said: “We took the opportunity of holiday to inspect the construction of the Red Line infrastructure, which is at the finishing stage. In all the stops we have made, we could see the state of the stations and their platforms. We noticed there is still some work that still needs to be done, especially around cleaning up of all illegal activities that are being conducted on the rail corridor, which should not have happened. We are also taking final approach around all pedestrian bridges to be completed along the route.
“From my observation, I can say that I am very impressed with the level of work by all contractors working on the Red Line project. I believe we are on track to finish the project by the end of this year. We will push the contractors to work tirelessly to see how they can finish on time. We will be strict on enforcement in taking out intruders from the rail corridor. We have given evacuation notice to all traders found on the corridor; we will wall off the entire corridor to make it free for passengers movement when the operation starts.
“Construction of the Red Line is on track and a lot of people cannot wait for its completion and the day they will start using it. But we cannot take safety measures for granted. Everything must be put in place before we can launch it. That is why I have taken time to come out today and push the contractors for the cleaning up, testing and completion. We want to give the best for our citizens; this is the minimum they deserve to get from my Government.”
Sanwo-Olu said since the Red Line tracks are at grid level, it would be necessary to completely wall off the corridor to ensure non-interference with the tracks and prevent accidents that may claim lives.
From next month, the Governor said there would be relief in vehicular movement on flyovers being put in place to aid rail crossings.
Some of the completed flyovers include, Ikeja Along Flyover, Yaba and Ebute Metta flyovers.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Yaba Bridge would open to traffic in October, while other completed flyovers along the Red Line corridor would be opened in succession from next month before the commissioning of the rail project.
He said: “Before we finally launch the Red Line, we will give vehicular relief to our citizens around rail crossings. The first bridge we will possibly open for traffic is Yaba Bridge which will happen in October. Weeks after, we will open another bridge that has been completed and do same for others.
“The Government is on track with our promise to deliver two rail infrastructure. We have delivered the Blue Line and has started operations. The second phase of the Blue Line has been awarded and the contractor has since moved to site. Its completion may happen faster than we expected.”