Special Report

October 15, 2014

Fashola, Onolememen abandon Oshodi/Apapa road

File: Traffic gridlock on Apapa/Oshodi express road, due to slow construction job of the road by Julius Berger and commuter spent sever hours on the road. Photo: Bunmi Azeez

THE unending traffic gridlock along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, especially at Mile 2, the major route to Nigeria’s busiest seaports such as Tin Can and Apapa ports, appears to be worsening by the day, as motorists and commuters spend several hours to get to their various destinations.

The same traffic nightmare is being experienced between Berliet and Cele Bus Stop of the ever busy expressway by Apapa bound motorists and commuters.

This is because the construction company, Julius Berger Plc, which is working on the carriageway at Cele has barricaded that section of the road thereby diverting traffic to the service lane.

This caused heavy traffic jam on the road on Monday and yesterday that extended to Ilasamaja area. Motorists and commuters have nightmare passing through the road, as they spend several hours to get to Apapa. Also, there is Berliet to Ilasamaja traffic gridlock that has become almost permanent now due to bad portions between the two bus stops.

The Mile 2 traffic is attributed to the reconstruction of the dual carriageway by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. Sections of the road have been barricaded thereby forcing road users to ply a single lane which cannot absorb the heavy volume of traffic, the cause of traffic gridlock at Berliet axis is due to deplorable conditions of some portions of the dual carriageway.

These portions of the expressway, have garnered notoriety for traffic slow motion as a result of craters and ditches that are the common features of the highway. The situation becomes more terrific when it rains, as it causes traffic to stretch from Ijesha to Ilasamaja. During the just concluded Sallah festival when the road was busy because of the last minute business closures, motorists and commuters went through hell as they spent hours on the these bad spots.

But the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, which is responsible for maintenance of federal roads across the country has denied neglecting this side of the expressway, adding that routine maintenance is being carried out generally on the dual carriageway whenever the need arises.

According to Afolabi Oladele, the FERMA engineer in charge of Lagos 2 West which comprises Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, that portion of the road is under the third phase of the reconstruction of the entire expressway which begins from Cele  to Oshodi end.

Oshodi/Apapa road

The FERMA official said that his Agency has been intervening on the expressway even before the idea of reconstructing the entire stretch of the Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, stressing that to ameliorate the current situation at the affected portions, boulders and stone base materials have been carried to the spots for intervention.

He said the reason the portions have not been worked on, is because of water on the spots, explaining that whatever is done now with rain still falling, will be washed away. He said as soon as the water on the road dries off, palliative work will commence immediately.

Afolabi said, “FERMA has been carrying out routine maintenance on those spots by applying boulders and stone base materials as well as cleaning of drainage channels and culverts around Berliet and Ilasamaja.

‘’This is still ongoing before permanent reinstatement of the expressway by the Federal Ministry of Works and Infrastructure. The problem with that part of the road is that it is low point of the road. This explains why that part of the dual carriageway is usually flooded whenever it rains.”