…As FG calls for calm
By Kingsley Adegboye
LAGOS—COMMUTERS, motorists and other road users have been going through excruciating pains on a daily basis on the chaotic Oshodi – Apapa Expressway.
This is as a result of the ongoing reconstruction works on the carriageway of the expressway between Toyota and Cele inward Mile-2 with traffic diversion to the service lane which serves both outgoing and incoming vehicles.
The commuters, motorists and other road users, who are compelled to make use of the diversion lament every day because of the hardship they go through coupled with the menace of tri-cycles (Keke Marwa) on the same diversion.
Motorists lament hardship
A motorist, James Nwankwo, who spoke to Vanguard over the hardship he goes through daily on the road, lamented that no matter how early he leaves home in the morning, he gets late to work.
This is due to the ongoing reconstruction works which have left road users no other alternative than the diversion.
Nwankwo noted that the service lane, which serves as a diversion for incoming and outgoing vehicles, is in a deplorable condition, hence, traffic is slow on the diversion.
He said: “Imagine a situation where Mile-2 bound traffic is diverted to a service lane, a very busy expressway as Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, and the same diversion serves incoming traffic coupled with Keke Marwa riders, who compete with other vehicles on the road. What you see is a chaotic traffic situation, and that is exactly what I experience on this road daily on my way to work in the morning. I get to work late every day no matter how early I leave home.
“There is no doubt that reconstruction will be beneficial to everybody, but the current experience cannot make anyone think of the benefits that follow the reconstruction, because the pains cannot make some of us think right. The service lane was repaired before traffic diversion. This has further worsened traffic situation on the diversion.”
A commercial bus driver, who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity, said owing to the traffic situation inward Mile 2 as a result of the diversion, no commercial bus driver plies that side of the road, rather, they now drive against traffic from Toyota to Mile 2.
The driver said: “Commercial drivers are not like other motorists on the road. We drive to make money, and the more trips you make, the more money you make. That is why we are not patience like other motorists to spend hours in traffic, otherwise, we will not meet the target for the day.”
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FG calls for calm
But reacting to the pains of road users who ply the route, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Engr. Adedamola Kuti urged road users to be patient with the Federal Government saying, “They should kindly bear with us, as it is a necessary pain to ensure a better road.”
On when the section is expected to be completed, Kuti said: “It is a concrete road. Even when completed, it must be allowed some time for curing. I cannot give the exact time it will be completed.”
Speaking on the entire project which construction work is ongoing simultaneously on various sections of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway through Oworonshoki to the former tollgate by 7 Up along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the federal controller explained that the road project was awarded under the Task Credit Scheme.
He said the scheme has Dangote Construction Company as the main contractor, while Hitech Construction Company handling the reconstruction of the dual carriageway at various sections is a sub-contractor hired by Dangote Construction Company.
Pointing out that the contract was awarded by Federal Executive Council, under the office of President Muhammadu Buhari, Kuti said the contract papers were sent to Dangote Construction Company by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to study after which the company signed the contract.
He said: “As I talk to you now, Dangote has signed the agreement, and this agreement has been signed since about two months now.”
Besides, he noted that Hitech is working on various sections of the expressway to speed up the reconstruction.
His words: “Work is ongoing on section one, which is Liverpool/Creek Road, work is also going on at section three, that is around Berliet down to Oshodi, work is going on around Gbagada.
“Work is ongoing on all the three sections of the Apapa road simultaneously even preparing the ground for equipment to come in and other things. The first section is Liverpool Road up till Beach Land, the second section is Cele up to Anthony. Then from Anthony to Gbagada to Oworonsoki to the toll gate is the third section. Work is ongoing on all the sections.”