It was another agonizing moment, yesterday, for motorists and commuters plying the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, as they were held in traffic for hours, following ongoing construction at the Opic and Kara sections of the road.
The traffic brought to the fore unending pains, commuters were forced to pass through on the road, as the traffic stretched as far as Prayer City, near Mountain Top University, Ibafo.
Motorists, who took the Earth road were not spared of the traffic, as they were held up for hours at the Opic entry point because of demarcation by the contractor, Julius Berger Plc.
A road user, Alan Ejiro, regretted that after years of promises, motorists are still passing through hell to get to their destinations.
Ejiro said he witnessed a standstill traffic, from Tribune House inward Lagos at about 9:17 a.m., which should not be for a Sunday morning.
He stressed that it was a similar situation outward Lagos, on Saturday at about 9:40 p.m., where traffic was very tight from Alapere to Berger. According to him, he spent three hours till the point he took a detour to Nurudeen Olowopopo Street by 7up to come out at Otedola Underbridge.
Another motorist, Adebayor Adeyemi, expressed disappointment over the closure of the inward Lagos section of the road at Kara, which motorists felt was completed by the construction firm.
Adeyemi called on the Federal Government to ensure that the April completion date is not shifted, as was the case last year.
He said: “We are dying gradually, the government and the construction should ensure that these sufferings end within a month, or they will face a revolt by residents.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos State, Umar Bakare, has assured improved operations and increased areas by the contractor, handling the project, to curb traffic congestion in the area and maximize the weather conditions.
He said efforts are on to ensure completion of the project before the rains come, preferably by end of April, and advised motorists to obey traffic rules.
Umar, who inspected phase one of the construction project with traffic regulatory and law enforcement agencies in Lagos, said a special task force has been set up to ease gridlock on the expressway.
He spoke after a stakeholders’ meeting, held at the Julius Berger Yard, Old Toll Gate, on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which had in attendance officials of the Federal Ministry of Works.
Also, in attendance were officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Agency (TRACE), and the Nigeria Police Force.
Umar explained that they have achieved over 93 percent of the first phase, which is the completion of the main carriageway from Sagamu interchange, Ogun State to 7up Bus Stop in Lagos.
“The second phase is ancillary works like pedestrian bridges, lighting, interchanges, and others,” he added.
Corridor Commander, Lagos-Ibadan-Egbeda Corridor, Federal Road Safety Corp, Corp Commander Kehinde Hamzat, speaking on alternative routes, said someone coming from Ibadan can use Ikorodu axis from Sagamu, or go through Lotto Junction to get to Ikorodu.
He, however, noted that with proper management, which all the traffic management stakeholders have agreed to implement, the traffic situation along Lagos-Ibadan way, would not require motorists to take alternative routes.
According to him, tow trucks have been deployed close to the site to immediately remove any broken down vehicle for ease of movement and officers would be deployed at diversion points to stop motorists from driving against traffic during the project.
Assistant Controller Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Jubril Oshodi, said LASTMA is working in synergy with other traffic management and security agents to ensure their deliverables are met and traffic conditions are improved.
Division Commander, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Mowe/Ibafo, Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), Ogun State, Ojerinde Kabir, said they are forming a joint task force that would focus on monitoring and avoiding traffic infractions to ease the traffic situation on the road.
Source: The Guardian