By Monsuru Olowoopejo
COMMUTERS and motor-ists plying the Lagos-Badagry Expressway are no longer finding it funny.
Plying the international road has become hectic, and this can be attributed to the failed portions on both sides of the highway.
This has forced motorists and commuters to spend hours manoeuvring the road.
Residents had for weeks, been enduring gridlock on the section of the road from Okokomaiko to Badagry.
But the situation last Sunday worsened as gridlock experienced on the road spread to Lot 2 section of the road spanning Mile 2 and Okokomaiko.
Many, who had intended to visit relatives and attend meetings found themselves trapped in traffic with little or no hope of making it out of it in hours.
It was gathered that traffic was at a standstill for most part of the hours and commuters and motorists were sweating profusely; wishing they had stayed off the road.
Narrating their ordeal on the road to Vanguard, they lamented that they left home for office but did not arrive at their respective offices till 6 pm.
Some were forced to alight from a commercial vehicle at Iyana-Iba and passed through the LASU-Isheri road, linked Agege Motor road to connect the office.
And since last Sunday, the gridlock has become a daily occurrence with commuters leaving home early to avoid being held in traffic.
When Vanguard visited the road, it was gathered that the continued gridlock has forced several motorists to abandon their vehicles at Okokomaiko or at home. While some boarded commercial motorcycles popularly called okada, others had to walk long distances to arrive at their various destinations.
It was further observed that sections of the road between Okokomaiko and Mile 2 were dotted with potholes.
At Ojo Military Cantonment, a gully filled with rainwater was sighted preventing motorists from having easy movement.
Also, okada riders were not spared as they were forced to carry their motorcycles to prevent suffering the fate of vehicle owners.
A resident of Tedi Community, Yusuf Adewale, described the road as the shame of Lagos State.
He lamented that “we spend productive man-hours in traffic daily.”
He noted that since the rainy season intensified, many sections of the road have failed and the contractors failed to repair the bad portions.
Another resident, Michael Simon, urged residents to avoid the route, saying, they are only suffering and smiling in Badagry division.
Simon, who described the road as a death trap, said: “This is where the Federal Government collects huge revenue. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode should do something fast about this suffering on this international road. What have we done to deserve this slow pace of work on the Badagry International Express Road compared to what is happening in Epe Local Government axis?”
We’ve intensified our service on the road – LASG
Reacting to the deplorable state of the road, the Lagos State Government disclosed plans to strengthen repair works on Lagos-Badagry Expressway and other roads across the state, to boost vehicular movement.
In an interview with Vanguard, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Lagos State Public Works/Drainages, Engr. Temidayo Erinle, stressed that the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, took over repair works on the section to ensure that motorists spend less time commuting within the axis.
Erinle, who hinted that the road which was tagged at inception as a rural road, clarified that LSPWC cannot work on the Eric Moore to Okokomaiko section of the road since it had been awarded to a contractor for expansion into 10 lanes.
He said: “We are working on the road presently to repair every failed portion. At Iyana-Era, Iyana-Isashi and after Agbara junction, our men are on the road working to ensure residents have easy movements. Also, Agric road in Ajara in Badagry Local Government, we have done some palliatives there as well, to assist motorists to connect the communities within the council.
“On Lagos-Badagry Expressway, we have not stopped rendering our services especially from Okokomaiko end of the road to Badagry. You will recall that the road was previously conceived as rural roads, but the State Government, through the Corporation, has not left the road to dilapidate even as we planned to embark on a public, private partnership for its expansion.”
Aside from the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Erinle disclosed that the agency was currently constructing roads to link the Timber villages in Agbowa, Ikorodu where the State Government planned to relocate saw millers in Oko-Baba Market, Lagos Mainland Local Government.