By Kingsley Adegboye
The Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) at the weekend intensified its campaign against road abuses in the state by declaring that it would no longer tolerate burning of tires on highways, indiscriminate cutting of roads as well as pouring of water on roads and spilling petroleum products on highways. Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum on the role of the public in curbing road damage, the executive chairman of LSPWC , Mr. Gbenga Akintola declared that such activities shorten the life-spans of roads.
The LSPWC boss said the forum was put together to enlighten members of the public on the use of Lagos roads. Decrying the various abuses to which the state roads have been subjected to by members of the public, Mr Akintola noted that the attendant consequences of these abuses have led to loss of lives and maiming of bodies.
Restating the Corporation’s commitment to its philosophy to make Lagos roads pot-free by 2012, he stated however that no matter how much the state government budgets for the repairs of roads, if they (roads) are not properly taken care of, they will not last.
Head of Projects, LSPWC , Engr. Ganiyu Aiyepe, said water is a major cause of road damage. According to him, any road that retains water will deteriorate fast. He added that lack of effective and efficient drainage system encourages flooding during the rains leading to retaining water which consequently results in its early damage. He therefore advised road users, residents and car wash operators not to allow waste water to retain on roads.
Engr. Aiyepe added that indiscriminate cutting of roads often leads to road damage, pointing out that it is prohibited for anyone to cut roads without obtaining permission from the relevant government agency. He also noted that petroleum products have disintegrating effect on bitumen and this accounts for why asphalt will disintegrate when in contact with products like diesel and kerosine among others. He said the diesel or petrol dripping on the road from heavy duty vehicles eventually breaks up the asphalt surfacing and pot holes and ditches are thus created.
The head of projects who said excessive axle load is another cause of road damage, explained that when roads are made to carry excessive loads that they were not designed for, it will make the road to become distressed. According to him, the situation becomes worse where owners of goods bring such goods to their door step thereby imposing too much axle on roads that are originally designed as feeder, access or estate roads. This scenario, he said is very common with articulated vehicles such as containers and tankers which are often seen on streets with heavy loads.
Anytime people burn tires or other items on the road, heat is generated, leading to disintegration of the asphalt elements. This causes potholes to develop on such spots after cooling and heating which takes place over time.
Engr. Aiyepe further noted that dumping of refuse in drains causes road damage,. He explained that many people are fond of dumping solid waste materials in drains especially when it is raining. Items such as water containers, clothing materials, nylon and domestic wastes cause blockage of drains thereby resulting in overflow of water into the road surface with the ultimate effect of damage on the portion where water is retained.
Responding on behalf of LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya, the managing director of the Authority said LAWMA will ensure more pressure is not added to the roads. He assured that the Authority will continue to sweep roads everyday to preserve the roads.
He called on all stakeholders have to work together to ensure the safe use of the roads. He promised that LAWMA will assist in distributing trash cans to vehicles and motor parks and called on Community Development Associations to watch over roads in their respective areas and protect them because such roads belong to them.