Yesterday was another day of mourning for motorists and commuters driving along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as they spent hours in traffic, after the start of rehabilitation work at kilometer 0-5 of the highway.
The snail movement started from the beginning of the Long Bridge inland to Lagos, until after the Otedola Bridge, where the contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, was marking and erecting bypasses, in preparation for the start of work around Otedola and Secretariat. .
One motorist, Asake Clement, said he left his home around 8:00 a.m. and arrived in Berger at 12:45 p.m.
He said: “The low movement is something else today. Why is the contractor putting motorists through another round of suffering?
For Kingsley Odemu, who boarded a commercial bus from Pakuro to Berger, it was another story of suffering when the bus turned around at Long Bridge and refused to refund passengers the fare it charged or continue the journey.
Odemu told Newslodge that he had to board a commercial motorcycle to Berger at the cost of N700 despite the associated risk.
He stressed that he was praying all the way to Berger because the cyclist was going against traffic, which is a risky adventure.
Another traveler, Jide Summonu, said the detour also affected motorists exiting Lagos, just before the Kara Bridge, because motorists taking the dirt road at the Long Bridge were making a detour around the FATGBEMS area.
Summonu, who was racing to keep an engagement at Surulere, said that after boarding Berger on a motorcycle, he faced another obstacle as the entire axis, including the Ojodu route that served as an alternative, was blocked.
Newslodge has learned that Summonu then took a bus to Ikeja via the Ojodu route, stopping at the Allen Roundabout before boarding another bus to Ojuelegba on the Surulere route.
In addition to the Ojodu route, other travelers traveled from Berger to the Alausa Secretariat before continuing their journey.
One traveler said that he would have taken a motorcycle to the Secretariat were it not for the ban on its operation in Lagos State.
But one resident, Collins Odeh, wondered why the government would keep subjecting motorists and commuters to perpetual suffering under the guise of building roads.
Odeh pointed out that the demarcation is already causing clashes as an articulated vehicle rammed into them and overturned.
He said: “Why is the contractor insensitive to the difficulties of travelers? They have been involved in rerouting and demarcation of roads at will in recent years without considering road users. Is this how roads are built in other climates?
“Dealing with this for the next six months is something else.
God help us. Amen.”
Recall that the Director of the South-West Zone, Highways, Federal Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Adedamola Kuti, had told Newslodge that work will soon resume to complete the remaining section between the Long Bridge through Berger to the old Toll Gate.
MEANWHILE, the Lagos state government has announced plans to divert traffic along the axis from June 9, for a period of six months.
According to the State Transportation Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, kilometer 0-5 of the Lagos/Sagamu Highway will be modified for traffic diversion.
He assured that the other lanes will be accessible to motorists during the course of the road’s construction.
Oladeinde stated that billboards and detour signs will be installed along the route to guide motorists in movement and ensure safety, adding that staff from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will also be present. on land to ensure the free movement of traffic.
The Commissioner, however, asked for cooperation, patience and understanding during the construction period, noting that the project is geared towards a better transportation system and better economic activity.