BusinessDay

Lagos blue line rail project now at 90% completion

The Lagos State government is on track to delivering the Blue and Red lines rail projects by the first quarter of 2023, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu reassured on Sunday.

The two intra-city rail lines are aimed at strengthening intermodal transportation system in Nigeria’s largest commercial city of Lagos whose population is estimated at 20 million people.

Sanwo-Olu was on an inspection tour of the blue line rail system which is to run the Mile 2-National Theatre-Marina (CMS) corridor, on Sunday, where he told reporters that the construction work is now at 90 percent completion. He said contractors are working seven days a week towards ensuring that residents begin their ride on the train by the first quarter of 2023.

He said the blue line rail would be running on electric tracks with Electric Motor Vehicle (EMV) and therefore warned citizens to keep off the train lines and ensure they don’t walk on it.

The governor, who rode to the National Arts Theatre station on a construction track, also inspected a new four-coach train, which according to him, is a typical train that will be used on the blue line.

He also disclosed that the state government was planning to bring additional two sets of four-train coaches from China between September and October, adding that adequate security would be put in place at every train station and platform with the use of CCTV.

“This is the first time I am taking you on the blue line to see where we are. The first phase of the Blue line rail project starts from Mile 2 and terminates at Marina. Marina Station is an elevated station and it stretches out to outer Marina and terminates where the Governor’s residence is. At the end of the station, you could see that the track is broken into two bridges. The backtrack is for parking.

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“We are happy that the contractors are working seven days a week. The major aspect apart from the Marina Station is a sea crossing from Eko Bridge to join the outer Marina. They would finish it in about three months. And by the time we will be coming back in July, the concrete construction should have been completed.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu while condemning the level of vandalism along the rail corridors warned perpetrators to desist from such evil acts. He said the government would go after companies that purchased vandalised rail tracks infrastructure, adding that culprits will be traced and made to face the wrath of the law.

Meanwhile, Sanwo-Olu has issued a three-day ultimatum to traders under the Apogbon Bridge in Lagos Island to vacate or risk demolition of the space by Wednesday this week.

He gave the warning while driving on the bridge during his inspection of the blue line rail project and saw that traders were back under the bridge with their goods displayed after they were driven away in the aftermath of the fire outbreak under the Apogbon bridge about six weeks ago.