The Ondo State Government on Tuesday commenced the construction of the Onyearugbulem/Shagari/Irese flyover in Akure, the State capital.
The flyover project is in furtherance of the infrastructural drive of the REDEEMED agenda of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.
The flyover, when completed will be the first flyover in the state capital since the creation of Ondo State in 1976. It will also be the second flyover constructed by the Akeredolu led-administrations, following the Ore Redemption Bridge in Ore, Odigbo Local Government Area.
The State Commissioner for infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Engr. Raimi Aminu who was at the project site for an inspection visit said the ongoing construction of the flyover and junction improvement project will address incessant carnages, facilitate the smooth flow of traffic, and eliminate the long queue of vehicles along the axis, while adding to aesthetic beauty of the area.
The commissioner assured that the project would be completed in less than 18 months.
He disclosed that the State Government has paid over N300m as compensation to about 57 claimants whose properties fell within the rights-of-way in order to give way for the project.
Aminu noted that the magnitude of compensation is the highest so far paid on any project by this government to property owners, adding that those who claimed government did not adequately compensate them are just economical with the truth.
He explained that the Land Use Act (1978) vested the ownership of lands in governments, hence the market value of any land is not considered according to the act.
However, the Infrastructure Commissioner said that it was expedient for government to consider appropriately the value of properties and developments affected.
Aminu explained that the construction of the flyover became imperative due to frequent loss of lives occasioned by incessant accidents and traffic gridlock along the road corridor.
The Commissioner particularly commended Governor Akeredolu for his unwavering commitment to infrastructural development across the state.
He assured that the Akeredolu’s administration would continue to execute projects and programmes that would make lives more meaningful to the people and residents of the state till the last day of the administration.
“This is the first flyover in Akure metropolis, the capital of Ondo State. It is a very significant step in the life of this state and represent a step in the right direction of enhancing the infrastructural development of our dear state.”
“It is in public domain that this junction is a very critical one and has recorded notable carnages which claimed lives of innocent citizens. The development over time had become worrisome and hence the directive of Mr. Governor to look for a permanent solution to the problem.
“After conducting various investigations, observations and census, we inferred that the most expedient solution to the traffic problem at the junction was to divest the traffic by introducing change in elevation and grades. This no doubt pointed us in the direction of the construction of flyover bridge as a major intervention.
“You can observe the gridlocks every morning and evening being the peak periods in the morning when people are going to work, there is always a traffic gridlock but to control the traffic flow while not obstructing the free flow on the federal highway, we adopted the option to have a flyover here.
While describing the configurations of the bridge, Aminu said “the bridge superstructure comprise of a 12m carriageway, 9 spans of 15m bridge with a 30meters mid-span prestressed beam spanning across the federal highway. All this are well founded on over 160 numbers of foundation piles.
“The long midspan is adopted in order to cater for any contingent future proposal of the federal government to expand the federal highway. So far the contractor has installed over 60 numbers and all things been equal, the contractor will complete the piling work soon.”.
“Besides, we paid special attention to the control of the run-offs, and this account for why we have a major culvert at the stream course where we could safely discharge the anticipated accumulation, because we are controlling all the run out here.
“The progress recorded so far is impressive considering the period since commencement of actual work on site. Notwithstanding, the ministry still deployed the full complement of supervision teams to supervise them – the consultant is also here, the laboratory is here to ensure quality of materials and workmanship.
“Our Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON is a man of integrity, anything he says he does it. He promised the people of Ondo State that he will work till his last day in office, and that is what we have been witnessing”.
“This government is working and will continue to work, more so as Mr Governor has promised to work from the very first day. You can recall that the next day after the swearing-in of his second term in office, we went to Idanre to commission a 15.5km length of road and since then we have been to every senatorial district in the state, and you can attest to the fact that in nearly all the local government there is a construction site.
“Mr. Governor is not a man that will tell you what you want to hear, but what he can do and anything he says he will do it.”
The Commissioner appealed to the owners of properties that were acquired in order to pave way for the construction to see it as a sacrifice in the overriding interest of the public.
“Their contributions will never be forgotten even by generations unborn. Although the affected owners have been duly compensated by government, we feel their pains but we believe in the gains.
“This account for why we allowed sufficient time for them to effect their relocations, and we adopted stage-wise construction in sections so as to minimize the trauma.” He added.
Earlier, the Project Engineer for the Onyearugbulem / Shagari / Irese flyover and Junction improvement project, Tosin Adebayo, said they have been on site for about three months, but were able to mobilize reasonably about four weeks ago.
“We have been on site for about three months now, but we were able to make appreciable mobilization about four weeks ago. This is not unconnected with the slow pace of compensation and the relocation of the affected occupants.
“During the past few months, we have been on our yard ensuring that preliminary works are being done such as getting our reinforcement for the piling works ready, preparation of casting bases for beams, amongst others, and preparation and possessing the yard as expected of every contractor.
“About three weeks ago, we were commenced the piling for the foundation works for each axis of the bridge. We have been able to achieve four out of ten axis of piles. We have also been able kick start beam works, with the placement and fixing of reinforcements. I assure you that in no distant time, we will commence the actual casting of the beam.
“Also, we are trying to ensure that every other work that needed to be done ahead like the culverts are fully in place without delay. Somewhere behind us, we have a 40-metre length of a 3metre x 3metre single cell box culvert, which is 50% complete”, he said.
Addressing the team, Oba Ahmed Ajila of Irese and Oba Peter Adeleye of Aaye appreciated the government for the project and appealed for the construction of the Irese/Aye Road to boost transportation activities of both people and farm produce.