Agony without end on Oshodi- Apapa expressway…
After an enduring wait lasting nearly five months for the passage of the 2016 budget, regular road users of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway are making a frantic call to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, not to renege on his promise to fix the failed Berliet portion of the busy highway immediately the budget is passed.
The bad spots on the expressway are worsening by the day, compounded by the dawn of the rainy season. Yesterday, two heavy duty trucks falling at different points along the road created serious traffic gridlock for Oshodi-bound motorists for several hours.
The situation, a daily occurrence, has become a nightmare for commuters caught between Cele Bus Stop and Ilasamaja, due to the congestion on account of the deep craters that have taken over several portions of the ever-busy dual carriageway.
The traffic gridlock usually starts after Cele Bus Stop where the second phase of the reconstruction of the expressway stopped. The worst affected area is between Berliet and Ilasamaja, which has developed deep gullies, and worsens terribly whenever it rains.
On such days, traffic will stretch from Ijesha to Ilasamaja. Apart from the gridlock, trailer and truck drivers who are not familiar with the bad portions often find their vehicles falling on the road thereby worsening the situation of the road.
The Federal Government last month said it would begin the massive rehabilitation of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway to ease movement into the nation’s seaports. The Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr. Godwin Eke, stated this during an inspection tour of the road.
According to Eke, Julius Berger Plc had submitted cost estimates for the repair of the Ilasa, Barliet and Iyana Itire sections of the road, but that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing was awaiting the approval of the 2016 budget before acting.
However, exasperated road users have urged the ministry to expedite action on the rehabilitation plans and alleviate their sufferings now that the budget has been passed.
A motorist, Emmanuel Ayobami, an engineer, said: “I hope our dear “super minister” reads Nigerian newspapers and is seeing this pains we go through daily. We need urgent action and innovation on this road from Apapa all the way to Gbagada to avoid an annual ritual of rehabilitation.
“The contractor should build this road and integrate solar, hydro or wind power into it. Put a deep closed accessible drainage system to run the whole stretch with mini hydro turbines inside that will generate electricity during rainy season while preventing flood on the road.
“Put street lighting along the whole road that is powered by solar cells and windmills. So the drainage system, solar panels, windmills all complimenting each other to light the whole road, plus the drainage also keeping the road dry. It is not alien science.”
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