The Federal Government has revealed that arrangements have been concluded to demolish both Jibowu and Costain bridges for the ongoing construction of railway project connecting Lagos, Ogun and Ibadan.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this after an inspection tour of railway construction projects in Papalanto, Ogun State, yesterday.
Amaechi further disclosed that two new bridges and flyovers will be constructed to replace the demolished bridges.
“On the Jibowu and that of the Costain bridges, we have agreed that the two of them have to go. We have agreed with Lagos state governor, after inspecting the bridges on Monday, on the arrangements we have to make before the bridges have to go. They cannot just go like that because of the management of traffic.
“So, what we agreed on is that we are constructing two new bridges at Costain so that by the time we finish them, we will demolish the existing ones. For the one at Jibowu, we will build a flyover across it before demolishing it,” the minister explained.
Reacting to the extent of work done on the construction project, the former Rivers State governor said: “We are impressed with the progress of work, but we expect more from CCECC. That is why we want them to increase the speed at which they are going.
“Yes, I am a lay man, but we have engineers supervising the construction, and I know by now they were supposed to have laid the tracks. I expected that they can lay the tracks within a period of one month,” he noted.
Amaechi equally spoke on the challenges of the gas pipeline crossing the railway line in Ogun.
“If the issue of the transmission lines with the NNPC gas pipeline is not addressed, then there will be no railway line.”
“I cannot tell you how soon we can do that because I am not with the NNPC. But what we know is that we have a target date. However, I want to say there is no way you can do construction without challenges in different forms and kinds.
“The difference between this construction and the rest is that journalists are physically present with the minister while the work is going on. In other constructions what the journalists may see is the finished product and may not know what they went through.
“The challenges facing this construction is not even in Ogun State but in Lagos. We are dealing with water, drainage, gas, power and the military. But in Ogun, we are dealing with just gas pipeline and maybe few power transmission lines and we can manage that,” he said.
On the completion date of the contraction, the Minister said: “Don’t forget that the contract is for three years, but we are chasing the Chinese to see that they finish it in 2018. We have made it clear that Mr President must Commission the completed project by January 2019.”
He equally spoke on the arrival of two locomotives and 10 coaches, announcing that; “We have actually taken delivery of two locomotives and 10 coaches. Let me inform that Mr President will be Commissioning them this month. We want to make sure that those that will travel from Kaduna to Abuja will be able to use the new coaches.”