Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday restated his administration’s commitment to ensure that the Blue Line of the Lagos Light Rail Project is up and running by December 2016.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the 5th Lagos Corporate Assembly, a forum for public-private sector engagement held at the Banquet Hall of Lagos House, Ikeja, while responding to questions from captains of industries and members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS), debunked claims that work had stopped on the first phase of the project connecting Mile 2 to CMS, saying the allegation was totally untrue.
“The truth is, you might not see the contractors but they are actually working on the waters for now and by December this year, the project will start running. So, work is seriously ongoing,” Governor Ambode assured.
He said that government was also about concluding on the channelization of the waterways in Lagos to improve on water transportation so as to encourage investors and reduce the pressure on the road networks in the state.
He assured members of the OPS as well as would-be investors that the state is more than willing and ready to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive with the overall aim of improving on the socio-economic wellbeing of the citizens.
The Governor said as a government, he was ready to partner with existing and would-be investors for industrial growth so far such investors are bringing value to the state.
The Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) network is a major component of the Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP) which has been developed to guide as a compass for the development of public transport infrastructures in the State. The STMP is a 30 year plan put together under series of intensive researches, studies and analyses of future transportation demands and needs of Lagos State as Nigeria’s commercial and economic hub and one of the world’s fastest growing mega cities.
Blue Line Rail Project: The Blue Line is a 27 km rail road with thirteen stations from Okokomaiko to Marina. The Blue Line is undergoing construction right in the middle of Lagos-Badagry Expressway which government is currently expanding and redeveloping into a ten-lane international gateway. Apart from rail, the infrastructure design also includes provision for BRT and multimode integration with Non-Motorized Transport [NMT] such as pedestrian walkways and overhead bridges for safe access by passengers to rail and bus stations.
Work commenced in August 2009 for construction of the Blue Line rail infrastructure, awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) as a design and build contract. CCECC prepared the detailed plan, design and construction works for the rail infrastructure. These works includes stations, roadbed, bridges, permanent way (P-way) tracks works, pedestrian ways and other associated fixed infrastructure.
All survey work, a proportion of the detailed design work and mobilisation of contractor was completed between August 2009 and August 2010. The fixed infrastructure is to be implemented in phases and actual construction work commenced with a ground breaking ceremony attended by His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on 26th July 2010.
Proposed Trains: The types of trains proposed for the Blue Line Rail Project are Electric Multiple Units (EMUs). EMUs are emissions free and therefore do not pose problems of environmental pollution usually associated with conventional diesel locomotives. EMUs are proven to be more efficient and easier to maintain than diesel locomotives.
Initially, the Blue Line will carry 400,000 passengers daily with capacity increased to 700,000 passengers daily when the rail route becomes fully operational. To incorporate the use of EMUs, a depot including power generating plant has been proposed for construction at the final western most station, Okokomaiko. The depot will serve as train maintenance and repair yard, sidings, final train destination, office complex and power station.