The final track beam (T-beam) of the 27-kilometer Lagos Blue Line Rail Mass Transit was launched on Wednesday, signaling the start of the race to completion.
At the location of the renowned Marina station of the rail project, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu personally signaled the start of the engineering procedure while witnessing the historic event.
All challenging civil work obstacles to the Lagos Blue Rail Line, which began in 2012, have been removed with the laying of the final T-Beam. The project will now proceed to completion as the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), sets the rail tracks along the alignment.
Sanwo-Olu once more vowed to hold the contractor and the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) to the December completion date for the Blue Line project.
Two rail mass transit projects will be completed by the Lagos government during the first term of the Sanwo-Olu administration. The 37-kilometer Red Line from Agbado to Ebute Metta will run on automotive gas oil, while the Blue Line, which travels between Mile 2 and Marina, will use an electric motor unit (EMU) (AGO).
In a speech during the opening of the final T-Beam on the Blue Line, Sanwo-Olu remarked in a speech that the accomplishment demonstrated his administration’s dedication to providing aid to Lagosians and giving them options for public transportation.
The traffic management and transportation pillars of his government’s T.H.E.M.E.S. development strategy, according to the governor, capture the ambition of his administration to deliver a comprehensive integrated transit system.
“Today’s final T-beam launch shows that we are slowly but surely approaching civil infrastructure completion for the first segment of the Blue Line spanning from Mile 2 to Marina,” he said. A total of 1,967 piles were finished as part of the engineering work today, along with three 306 platforms, 310 piers, 267 cover beams, and the building of 984 T-beams.
“We are not just making promises; people are beginning to see for themselves that all the milestones and the difficult tasks we are meant to achieve to ensure operation of the Blue Line are being achieved. The Marina Station, which is the iconic terminal for the Blue Line, will be completed within two-and-half months. I am restating here that we will formally complete this Blue Line before December 31, 2022.”
The Governor said the two sets of EMU coaches already procured for the Blue Line operations would arrive in Lagos from China before the end of October. He said the rail line would be test run immediately after completion, while passenger movement would start within the first quarter of 2023.
Sanwo-Olu said the construction of the second phase of the Blue Line project would commence after the start of operation, which would extend the rail project from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko.
He said Blue Line stations would be built at Festac, Alakija, Trade Fair, Volkswagen, LASU and Okokomaiko. The Governor disclosed that talks were being held with the Ogun State Government for possible extension of the rail line to Agbara.
He said: “The second phase of the Blue Line project will be an easy infrastructure to develop because the marked alignment for stations and tracks are largely at grid level. While we are at this, the Red Line is also on the way. This is a start-and-end project for our administration, with about seven stations concurrently being built. This will redefine mass transportation in Lagos.
“To our citizens, I say the Blue Line is for real and you will ride on it in no distant future. For the Doubting Thomases and people that do not like our face, their eyes cannot disbelieve in the infrastructure we are bequeathing to the citizens of our State. They cannot disbelieve in our bold effort and commitment to improve mobility and deliver transport infrastructure that brings ease to our people.”
LAMATA Managing Director, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo, said the first 13-kilometre stretch of the Blue Line construction was divided into four phases to enable the government fund the project from its internally generated revenue.
To get to the current status, she said the construction work experienced disturbances and delays in the relocation of submarine cables, submarine natural gas pipelines, and removal of underground shipwrecks.
“Just as we are laying the final T-beam for the rail tracks, we are also currently retrofitting the train stations at Mile 2, Alaba, Iganmu and National Theatre with light in readiness for passenger operation in the first quarter of 2023,” Akinajo said.
CCECC chairman, Mr. Liu Wei Min, described the event as the most significant level of the project.
He said: “We express our sincere gratitude to the present administration under the leadership of Mr. Sanwo-Olu in reaching this milestone. We will continue to work to meet the ultimate target in delivering the entire project with high standards and quality.”
The T-beam laying event was also attended by Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Mr Chu Mao ming.