By Nofisat Marindoti
The world over, the purpose of every government is to provide basic facilities that will make life more abundant, bearable and comfortable for the citizenry.
And so with infrastructure, the things people see, cherish and make use of that helps them, contribute to their success and ensure life is more meaningful for them.
One of the priorities of the present administration in the State of Osun led by Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is infrastructural projects particularly road construction.
Since its inception seven years ago, Ogbeni Aregbesola has continued to construct roads both at the rural and urban areas of the state.
Considering the fact that Osun is the most urbanized state in Nigeria, and that infrastructure especially roads are key to the economic growth of the state, Aregbesola has moved beyond criticism and brought a new face to the State of Osun.
With over 400km of rural and urban roads completed and still counting, the wind of change can be felt in all nooks and cranny of the state, Osun Defender however brings you the top ten roads in the State of Osun under Rauf Aregbesola;
1. Ola Iya/ Odi Olowo Road (Workers Drive)
The popular Olaiya junction sits in the capital of the state “Osogbo”. This is a junction in the heart of Osogbo that leads to various ends of the state.
Shortly before the exit of Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from office as Governor of the state, traffic lights were introduced to some major junctions in the state capital. One of such junctions was the Orita Ola Iya/ Odi Olowo Junction. Other points within the state capital were the Old Garage Roundabout and the Oke Fia Roundabout. It was initially conceived that the congestion of the time was due mainly to huge vehicular movement in and out of the city.
The emergence of Aregbesola, a trained and seasoned Mechanical Engineer, tested and trusted, in the saddle of governance discovered other concrete causes of this unnecessary congestion and created ways to tackle it.
Now apart from being modernly handled to tackle congestion, the road now nicknamed “Workers’ drive” commemorating the workers of the state for persevering with government during the financial quagmire that affected the satte from paying salaries as and when due, has been reconstructed, widened, giving the state capital the first beautiful impression about the generality of the state.
2. Adebisi Akande Gbongan Trumpet Inter-Change Bridge
This road comes second in our list, we are sure any body that sees the beauty of the bridge will give kudos to the Governor. The Governor had attributed the need to checkmate avoidable deaths of innocent people along Ibadan/Ife expressway as the major reason that prompted his government to construct the interchange bridge, named after the former interim national chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief Abdulkareem Adebisi Akande.
Aregbesola had expressed optimism that the newly completed bridge that conjoins Ibadan/Ife/Gbongan/Osogbo dual carriage road, would go a long way in halting auto crashes that he said had claimed over 1,000 lives at the Gbongan junction.
3. November 27 Interchange Bridge
This bridge is another beautiful achievement of the administration, the bridge which leads into the state capital, Osogbo was named “November 27” in commemoration of the day the Governor was sworn-in in the year 2010 after a protracted legal battle. November 27 Interchange bridge also serves to break the bottleneck of traffic congestion along the state secretariat in Abere and Ola-iya junction of Osogbo, the State capital.
Asides that, the bridge forms part of the ring road that connects the entire Osogbo metropolis. The bridge links the Ebunoluwa end of the Osogbo/Iwo road and as well as the Ilesa Garage end of the road that saves travellers to Ilesa the burden of going through the Osogbo metropolis.
4. Old Garage – Ikirun to Kwara State Boundary Road
When the contract for the road project was awarded in 2013, many doubted the capability of the administration that had for many years battled with finances to complete such capital intensive project in the spate of three years.
At the Old Garage end from Oke Fia; just after the level crossing, there also is the presence of traffic lights. But these traffic lights were not just the panacea to the myriads of problems militating against residents and passers-by of our roads. The Aregbesola administration wielded the magic hands, as it saw the timely need for broadening of the roads.
Today, the road has been broadened to ease off traffic for those exiting toward the old MDS area without unnecessary delays and hiccups.
Currently, the road has been completed to a stretch not far from the Alamisi Junction in Ikirun, a feat many thought would not be achievable. But with ONA BABA ONA himself, the road is now a reality with many of his traducers testifying to the quality of the job done.
5. Osun East Bypass a.k.a. Ring Road
This road had been in existence since the time of military administrators in the state. It was however brought to the present level of conceptualization by the administration of Chief Bisi Akande. The road, stretching from the Mobile Police Headquarters Junction /rare of Osogbo City Stadium to link the Osogbo-Iwo Road at Dele Yessir area spans between 15 and 20 kilometres. It also presents a stretch of good motorable roads to motorists who intend to avoid the hustle-bustle of the township traffic. This, to a large extent, serves to reduce traffic congestion of the state capital.
6. Osun West Bye-Pass, Ebunoluwa Bridge
The Ebunoluwa Bridge passes over the Ebunoluwa area providing a lease of life for those living in the area to move to other areas of the town.
The bridge aside its thickness has a strong culvert and speed breakers that controls over speeding from motorists that may want to optimize the good texture of the road to over speed.
The bridge gives a facelift to the bye-pass as traffic is smooth and gives road users from the end an opportunity to reach locations like Ogo-Oluwa, Abeere, Owode Ede in a short time without necessarily going through Oke-Fia, Dada Estate or Awosuru area of the capital.
7. Osun West Bye-Pass, (Osun Groove Bridge)
Bridges are essential to the structure of roads. And so it is with the Osun Groove Bridge along the Ilesa road end which the November 27 Interchange Bridge connects.
The bridge connects the Osun Groove area with the Fountain University end through to Oke-Ijetu, Ilesa Garage to Owode end of the expressway.
With the road nearing completion, it leaves to the beauty it presents to make the entire township connect easily and freely without necessarily going to the heart of the state capital where traffic builds up easily during the weekdays.
8. 10km Roads Per Local Government.
One of the legacies the government of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is leaving behind is the construction of 10km of roads in all the 30 local government areas of the state.
The roads cut across major areas in the local governments.
Some of the roads were constructed by the previous administration in the state but were reconstructed as a thing of necessity when those roads could not stand the test of about 2 to 3 years.
During the commissioning of the roads which are township roads in April 2014, Governor Aregbesola said the roads constructed by RATCON Construction Company will stand the test of time for 15 years. The 310 kilometers are there for everyone to see.
9. 222km Rural Roads
The State Government has also constructed 222 kilometers of roads in the rural areas.
The roads were assisted through the World Bank, European Union and The French Government Under the Rural Access Mobility Project “RAMP”.
The rural roads have helped farmers transport their farm products to the market and boosted their income generation.
According to Governor Aregbesola during the Workshop for Local Government Information Officers in March 2017, the rural roads have connected every rural settlement in the State of Osun.
The second phase of the project is ongoing.
10. Special Intervention/Rehabilitation of Roads
At every point in time of this administration, the government of Aregbesola has intervened in the rehabilitation of bad portion of some roads.
Portholes have been filled. Bridges have been reconstructed while bridges have also been made. One of those special intervention projects is the reconstruction of the Rasco bridge in Old Garage area of Osogbo.
The bridge that has for a long time been dilapidated and been in a situation where the whole area is ravaged by flood during the rainy season. As it stands, the bridge has been renovated and provided a platform for a big drainage to be erected in the locality.
Aside the Rasco Bridge, the Okoko Bridge linking Kajola Area to Oke-Ayepe area in Osogbo and the Modakeke drainage have been rebuilt all in a bid to prevent flood.
The drainages, culverts and potholes rehabilitated have given quality to these roads and enhanced the rate at which longevity will be placed on these roads.
In Osun, Rauf Aregbesola has changed the story of road construction and with these ten roads and more, the State of Osun is open to the round of economic activities that is part of the solid foundation laid by his government for the next 50 years of development.