Jubilee Bridge, solution to Abule-Egba traffic gridlock
For about a year, Mrs. Olamide Adetayo has not been around the popular Abule-Egba Bus Stop in Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
So when she recently alighted from a tricycle that conveyed her from Agbado Crossing Bus Stop, she engaged the tricycle operator in a hot argument, insisting she had been wheeled to a wrong destination.
It took the intervention of passersby and other tricyclists to convince her that she was actually at her destination.
The confusion Adetayo was momentarily thrown into stemmed from the makeover, which the place hitherto noted for knotty traffic gridlock has now undergone, that is, the construction of a new flyover, which has eased the trouble encountered by motorists from Iyana Ipaya, to Oja Oba and Abule Egba bus stops.
Even though she was eventually convinced that she was in the right place, it took her quite some minutes to get her bearing, as the area had changed beyond her imagination
For about one week now, residents, motorists and other road users are still basking in the euphoria of the permanent solution provided by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration to address the perennial traffic snarl, which had plagued the area for long. Needless to say that this transformation has also boosted economic activities around that axis.
Aside the relief, which the Jubilee Bridge has brought to motorists, and sundry road users, the aesthetic value of the area has been greatly enhanced with new streetlights, lay bys, good terrace with flowers and a waterfall, and a standby generating set. Now, the place looks more like a recreation centre than a bus stop, even as people are still in awe of the change that has occurred there.
Those familiar with the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway would surely testify to the massive reprieve the new bridge constitutes in the area. If nothing else, it has succeeded in liquidating the ever-present traffic jam at the Abule-Egba/Agege Junction, which had defied solution for years.
Now, motorists heading towards Oshodi, through this axis spend well under five minutes to get to Pleasure/Iyana-Ipaja area. But before the transformation, motorists spent over 45 minutes to over one hour to maneuver their way through. Those heading towards Oko-Oba, Iju, Ikeja, Ojota, Ojodu, Berger and other locations, were the worst hit, as their queue usually stretched to Awori Bus Stop, a distance of about 700 metres.
At present, within two minutes, those coming from Oshodi, Sango and Agege end, need not wait for the traffic light to dictate for them, as they have the luxury of deciding whether to take the flyover or pass under the bridge, as the road is extraordinarily free for traffic.
Efforts made by previous administrations, especially by the immediate past governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, yielded little or no results. The introduction of traffic policemen, including support from Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LAWMA), could not solve the problem.
When the state commenced construction work at Abule-Egba last year, not many believed the project would be completed in good time. But the governor has not only constructed a befitting flyover to ease the flow of vehicular traffic and open up the area for development, he has also made life easy and better for the people, who for a long time felt marginalised by previous administrations.
A commercial bus operator, Ayinla Kamoru, lauded the initiative, describing it as a dividend of democracy the area has received in recent times.
He noted that with the flyover, commercial drivers have been spared the burden of traffic gridlock they have had to contend with for long.
He appealed to the governor not to forget to rehabilitate the inner roads that were destroyed by motorists while the project was ongoing.
To Madam Oriola Idowu, a trader, the governor’s drive to develop the area is a pointer to his desire to open up the state and fast-track its development.
She appealed to him to focus more on uplifting their standard of living by providing potable water and other basic amenities.
While commissioning the bridge, Ambode declared that the project was a result of government’s engagement with the people of that axis and his administration’s strong desire to make life easy and better for the people.
He said: “Today, we all have cause to rejoice as the Jubilee Bridge, Abule-Egba is delivered. This bridge is one of the interventions we embarked upon to ensure free flow of traffic, stimulate commercial activities and create opportunities for our people. Lagos means business and today, Abule-Egba is open for business. This bridge signposts the beginning of a new era of development that would enhance the standard of living of the people in this axis with the provision of this infrastructure.
“The construction of the bridge is the beginning of a process of transforming the axis to the new economic hub of the state, the ongoing Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) lane from Oshodi to Abule Egba would be followed by another BRT lane from Abule Egba to Ogun State border. Already, contracts have been awarded for the rehabilitation of all adjoining roads disrupted in the course of the construction of the bridge, while a shopping mall would also be constructed opposite the Oke-Odo Market to further boost economic activities in the axis,” he stated.