By Sunday Oguntuyi osogbo
Osun state governor Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, has said, the Olaiya flyover is not just an iconic project designed for ostentatious purposes, but one of the government’s measures to ensure the safety of citizens’ lives.
Oyetola disclosed this during his inspection tour of the diversion points during the demonstration closure of the Ogo-Oluwa-Olaiya-MDS corridor on Friday.
Recall that the government had on Wednesday announced the demonstration closure between 2:00pm and 5:00pm on Friday, January 29 as part of the protocols for the commencement of the construction. This followed the government’s earlier announcement of its intention to construct a flyover across the Fakunle-Olaiya, Odi Olowo-Olaiya, Akindeko-Olaiya and MDS-Olaiya intersections as part of measures to address traffic and safety issues in the axis.
According to Oyetola: “The Olaiya flyover is meant to take care of the traffic bottleneck around that intersection. There has been several accidents around there over the years, some of them fatal. So, to prevent the frequency of accident, we are proposing this interchange at the Olaiya intersection.
“Part of our own job is to ensure the security of lives and so we thought it necessary to ensure that those who are coming from Abere for instance can pass through the flyover without necessarily impeding the movement of those plying Alekuwodo and Odi-Olowo lane. It will take a lot of traffic off the regular route and ensure that everybody is able to navigate without causing accidents.
“So, apart from being iconic, it is also an instrument to ensure that there is safety and accidents are reduced to the barest minimum. It is important that we mitigate the possibility of accidents happening at that intersection and that is the purpose of this flyover.
“The project will take about nine to ten months, but it could be completed earlier than that. The length is about 500 metres.
“Why we are doing this is because even though the project is ultimately to the people’s benefit, we have to appraise the impact and see where adjustments are required.
“Before now, we consulted widely to ensure that our people come to terms with and appreciate what we are trying to do. For the mall, we have created an opportunity for customers to access the place through a particular junction. So, at any point in time, the businesses in the mall are running. For the people selling on the corridor, they will still sell anyways because the construction workers will patronise them while work is ongoing. So, they are not the people we are trying to rid from the site; we are talking of motorists.
“This is not the first time we will be interfacing with businesses around that axis. There have been series of meetings with banks and other businesses. I think people are ready for this, the cooperation level is high and we will be monitoring developments along the line in case there are things to adjust to ensure that there are no unnecessary hardships.
“But we actually appeal to our people, and I believe they understand what the government is doing. At the end of the day, it will be of greater benefit to the people”, Oyetola stated.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Remi Omowaiye, said the demonstration closure was the government’s empirical way of gathering data to improve the traffic diversion model during the eventual closure.
He said: “It’s no longer news that the Governor Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration is proposing to construct a flyover at the Olaiya intersection and the project will be flagged off in about two weeks, and because we have diversion plans as part of the preparation for this, we are going to close for the period of construction which will be between nine to ten months.
“We know this is a major road. So, if we will be closing down the entire Olaiya, we need to do a demo to ascertain what the total closure will look like. We have created a lot of alternative routes which we also need to observe how they will work out. So, we decided to pick today, 2:00pm to 5:00pm, which is one of the peak periods of the day.
“So, we want to use this medium to gather our data and see possible needs for improvement of our traffic diversion models”, Omowaiye stated.
Also, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Engr Hussein Olatoke Olaniyan, lauded the idea of the flyover, adding that the various road crashes recorded at the intersection have been a source of concern for Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
He said the flyover, when completed, will ensure smoother traffic flow and also add aesthetics to that Olaiya area of the State capital.