The first phase of the reconstruction and upgrading of the Eti Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway has now been completed and delivered, with the infrastructure formally opened to vehicular traffic.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu was on Wednesday, accompanied by joyful residents to commission the 18.75-kilometre-long stretch from Eleko to Epe T-Junction, turning a two-lane rural roadway to a six-lane rigid concrete carriageway.
The construction feat marked a significant improvement in the effort to redevelop the rural road, built over 40 years ago. Before reconstruction, the infrastructure was in decrepit shape due to an upsurge in average daily traffic volumes, subjecting road users to delay and hardship.
The road upgrade to six lanes, with street lights installation and dedicated tracks for trailers, has changed the narrative and brought a huge relief to motorists plying the route.
After inaugurating the completed first phase of the road, Sanwo-Olu immediately flagged off the second phase of the road project, which will extend the construction from the Eleko axis to the Abraham Adesanya Roundabout.
The Governor, however, said the project’s second phase would be done in two segments for ease of funding and to reduce the traffic impact of the construction work on commuters.
The 18.6km first segment, Sanwo-Olu said, would take off from Eleko to Awoyaya and to critical sections around Majek and Ogidan. The second segment, which is 11km, will kick off at Ogidan to Abraham Adesanya Roundabout.
The Governor said the development marked another effort by his administration at investing in infrastructure that would impact positively the socio-economic well-being of the residents.
Before the intervention, Sanwo-Olu said the expressway was in critical condition, creating agony for travellers and causing pain in the movement of goods and services.
He said: “Inauguration of this road project we are opening today is coming after 40 years the infrastructure was originally constructed as a rural cross-section without drain. Our administration flagged off the reconstruction and upgrading of the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway from the existing two-lane to a three-lane dual carriageway with reinforced concrete pavement and with a lane in each direction dedicated for trucks to accommodate the envisaged axle loads.
“This event does not only mark the opening of Phase 1 of the project, we are also flagging off the commencement of Phase 2 of the work. The entire project will set the Lekki-Epe corridor on the path of socio-economic prosperity and progress. This corridor is fast emerging as an urban economic hub. The growth must come with infrastructure investment that will support the development. The infrastructure will not only bring relief to residents plying the road, but it will also ease the transportation of goods while encouraging industrial development in the Lekki Free Zone.”
Sanwo-Olu urged residents to take ownership of the infrastructure, asking them to protect its facilities from vandals in order to continue to serve them.
He expressed appreciation to the Ibeju Lekki residents and Community Development Associations (CDAs) for their unflinching support and cooperation throughout the construction period of the first stretch.
The Governor also used the opportunity to appeal to motorists on the axis to be patient, given the perennial traffic being experienced along the Lekki-Epe Expressway occasioned by the ongoing construction of the project’s Phase 2 and the work on Regional Road.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, said the Eti Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway was long overdue for upgrading, given its deplorable condition that reduced the journey from 35 minutes to over four hours.