By OLASUNKANMI AKONI
Lagos — The Lagos State government yesterday urged users of Dopemu and Iyana-Ipaja bridges undergoing repairs to endure the temporary pains the exercise will cause them.
Kayode Opeifa, the state Commissioner for Transport who was in the area yesterday to assess traffic situation, admitted that it was challenging, but stressed that it was a temporary pain which, in 10 days time, would allow for a more comfortable ride on the bridge which takes traffic from the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway to Alimosho/ Egbeda, densely populated area of the state.
He said the decision to repair the bridge was to ensure free flow of traffic and lessen the pain motorists often go through on the bridges, which for sometime had been in bad shape thereby, causing traffic gridlock.
When asked on modality put in place to manage traffic during the period, Opeifa, said over 20 personnel from Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, officers of Nigeria Police Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, Special Traffic Marshals have been deployed to the area and would resume as early as six o’clock in the morning and work late into the night while the repair work on the bridge will last.
The commissioner also appealed to motorists and the residents to cooperate with the traffic officials, especially, LASTMA men, even as he appealed to well meaning residents to join effort with LASTMA during the period maintenance will last.
Meantime, residents of Egbeda /Akowonjo and motorists have appealed to the government to consider expanding the bridge, saying population explosion and increasing vehicular density in the area have necessitated the expansion.
One of the residents, Mr. Bamidele Idowu, who claimed he has been living in the area for about 35 years, said at the time the bridge was constructed, the area had not experienced what he called “astronomical increase in population. What we need in this area is pure expansion and not really maintenance alone. It won’t solve much problems.”