Friday, April 16, 2010

The Projects We Are Looking Forward To. Lagos Metro Rail System.

Determined to provide an efficient transportation system for Lagos residents, the state government has awarded a contract for the first phase of the Blue Line Light Rail Project to a Chinese construction firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

The government has already paid N8.05 billion, representing 70 per cent of the contract sum to the Chinese company, to design and build the 27 kilometre project expected to run from Okokomaiko to Marina.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), disclosed this on Tuesday while delivering a key note address at an annual lecture put together by Punuka Attorneys and Solicitors.

The theme of this year’s lecture was: The prospect of infrastructural development in Nigeria-Using the Lagos Light Rail as a case Study.”

Fashola, who was represented by the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority, Mr. Dayo Mabereola, revealed that the challenge of providing efficient transportation for the over 18 million residents of the state was one of the cardinal objectives of his administration when it came to power in May 2007.

He said, “Early in the life of our administration, we realised the need to explore the prospect of developing other modes of transportation other than road to enable us provide a means of moving large number of commuters within the state.

The Blue Line will run 27km from Okokomaiko to Marina, one of the most densely travelled corridors in Lagos. The rail infrastructure is being developed in conjunction with the Badagry Expressway project, a proposed toll road running from Lagos to Badagry. The Blue Line will run on an exclusive 15 metre right of way in the middle of the expressway.

In total there will be thirteen stations, three which will be shared with the Red Line system. The stations will be located above the tracks, with large pedestrian walkways crossing the expressway. Large, concrete barriers will be placed between the rail lines and the expressway to ensure no external factors will disrupt service. The Blue Line system will require the construction of two bridges. The larger of the two, to be shared with the Red Line, will connect the mainland with the island. The second bridge will be across the river at Mile 2.

The fixed assets, including construction of the alignment, bridges, and stations, will be wholly funded by the Lagos State Government. A concessionaire is currently being sought to procure and finance rolling stock and depot facilities, as well as provide operations and maintenance over a 25 year period. The concessionaire will be compensated through passenger revenues as well as revenues earned from retail activities within stations.

The Red Line rail system is being developed on North-South axis through some of the most densely populated areas in Lagos. Beginning on the island, the Red Line will run north to Agbado through a total of 13 stations. From the Marina to Iddo stations, the Red Line will share the alignment with the Blue Line. The shared infrastructure in these portions will be constructed as part of the Red Line project. From Agbado to Iddo, the Red Line with utilize the existing Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) corridor.

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