Lagos-Opebi-Mende Project: Two years Down the Line – Opebi link bridge

Julius Berger proudly announces another successful collaboration with the Lagos State government – the 3.9km Opebi-Mende Link-Bridge.

Our seasoned team is navigating challenging environmental factors with precision, employing cutting-edge methodologies to enhance soil stability for the delivery of a robust, enduring solution that reshapes the Odo Iya-Alaro swampy expanse into a high functioning hub of urban connectivity.

With the aim of providing relief to traffic congestion, Julius Berger is working with unwavering resolve to deliver a bridge that supports the continued progress of Lagos State and needed respite to commuters in the region.

Ahead the then scheduled date for the kick off of the now on-going Lagos-Opebi-Mende Road project by leading engineering construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the client, Lagos State Government moved to establish a smooth Right of Way for the construction of a befitting link bridge and related access roads and underpass in what the government described as a priority project.

With an agreed road length of 4.52km, Pile depth of 40m, Bored piles numbering 1500 and a Bridge structure of 640m in length, the government reasoned that an iconic project as the envisaged Opebi-Mende link Bridge and approach roads would no doubt help to address the recurrent traffic and transportation hiccups on that axis.

The state government was to summarise it all thus: ‘It is a known fact that the people are the ultimate beneficiaries of development projects like this. As promised, the State Government led by Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu will continue to take concrete steps toward ensuring the delivery of the dividends of democracy to our people. Evidently, this particular project, like many that have been executed across sectors, will add on as a good example of making life more abundant for the governed.

Come January 26, 2022, construction work on the project was flagged off amidst jubilation expressed and implied by residents who saw positive development coming to their doorsteps via the project; signalling a significant milestone in the implementation of a critical aspect of the state’s Strategic Transport Master Plan (STMP).

It is instructive to recall that the Governor who said the project is going to be one of his legacy projects gave more insight into what all should expect at the end of the day.

Without attempting to belabour the issue, he said, the Link Bridge is aimed at easing the burden of commuters and decongesting traffic in the Ikeja axis and on Ikorodu road by providing a direct link between Opebi, Mende, Maryland and Ojota to Ikorodu road, reducing the perennial traffic on Mobolaji Bank-Anthony way, and setting precedence for Ojota commuters to link the 3rd Mainland Bridge.

It is further intended by the Lagos State government to instigate massive opening up of the entirely marshy and landlocked area between the largely industrial Opebi axis and the basically residential Ojota area.

The two settlements are seperated by the ever-busy Ikorodu Road, a dual carriage way that connects nearby Ogun State to the inner precincts of Lagos State.

Conceived over 20 years ago as the solution to traffic congestion within the Ikeja-Ojota axes, the project poses enormous construction challenges that only a company with the right experience and expertise can overcome.

The extremely challenging soil conditions, with soft peat reaching depths of 20 metres below existing ground necessitates massive sand filling to create a temporary working platform.

The LOM project is designed therefore to comprise of a number flyovers across the swampy area even as some roads are being constructed to intersperse the area below the intended flyovers before connecting the busy Ikorodu road and Opebi road thus relieving the recurrent traffic holdups on the busy Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way and Ikeja-Ojota road.

Julius Berger is bringing its expertise and professionalism to bear on the project which will be supported by 530 and 110-metre-long bridges and 50-meter-long mechanically stabilised earth-wall approach sections. The construction requires the application of 30-metre-long prestressed beams, with geotextile mechanically stabilized earth ramps, bored piles with diameter of 1500 mm, and a depth of 40 metres inside the swamp, using a spiral duct solution as permanent casing.

So far, with hundreds of Lagosians gainfully employed directly and indirectly and 65% of the job completed, the Project Manager, Dymitry Denysenko remains optimistic that the LOM project will be delivered before the December 24, 2024 deadline.

He said, we are working hard on the project. We know how important it is to our client, we know their expectations and we have no challenges. Whatever there is, it is manageable within professionally acceptable limits.

We have completed so far: Opebi Road with only road marking and kerb painting outstanding; Maryland U-turn with only road marking and kerb painting outstanding. On the short bridge, only asphalt, streetlighting, road marking and kerb painting are outstanding; then on the long bridge, only asphalt, road marking and kerb painting outstanding. The only two other critical areas that can be said to be ongoing are Deck on Pile works and connection to Ikorodu Road, the Project Manager said.

Once completed, the new road will open into Ojota axis in Kosofe, diverting traffic from Opebi U-Turn and connecting to Ikorodu Road via an intersection that will be constructed under Odo Iya Alaro Bridge at Mende.

No doubt, that will be a major relief for commuters, alleviating traffic gridlock at Opebi, Mende, Maryland, Ojota and Mobolaji Bank-Anthony roads.

With the many shops of retailers of food and food related items as well as light vehicle and tricycle spare parts sellers and varied hawkers of goods and services springing up around the construction site, coupled with daily increasing house rents in the Opebi and Mende areas, Julius Berger and Lagos State government are doing great in taking development to the place.