The Governor of the State of Osun, 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 safety of its citizens’ lives.
Oyetola said this on Friday when he carried out an inspection tour of diversion points during the demonstration closure of the Ogo-Oluwa-Olaiya-MDS corridor.
The government had on Wednesday announced a demonstration closure between 2:00pm and 5:00pm on Friday, January 29, as part of the protocols for commencement of the construction work.
According to Oyetola, the Olaiya flyover was meant to take care of the traffic bottleneck around the intersection, saying that there have been several accidents around the area over the years, some of which he noted were fatal.
He added that: “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 to be completed, and the length is about 500 metres.
“Why we are doing this demonstration 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.”
Explaining measures put in place by Government to ensure that the construction work does not affect economic activities around the area, the Governor said: “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 project and 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 hardship”, 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: “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, to gather our data and see possible needs for improvement of our traffic diversion models”, Omowaiye stated.