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Airport bridge closure: Government silent on duration

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Access to the bridge linking International Airport road cordoned off. PHOTO:FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI


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The bridge linking the Airport Road to the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Lagos, has continued to cause disorder on the busy route even as motorists are seen flagrantly violating traffic rules.

The Lagos State Government had, on Sunday, announced the closure of the bridge from the Toyota Bus Stop end indefinitely following a diesel tanker explosion that occurred last Thursday on the highway.

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However, road users seeking to ply the route are facing daunting task continuing their journey since the weekend when the bridge was closed.
The Guardian investigation reveals motorists defying the government’s directive on the use of alternative routes, decrying the deplorable state of the roads.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, had earlier outlined alternative routes pending the outcome of the tests and reopening of the bridge to traffic.

He said: “Motorists from Mile 2 to Cele on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway approaching Iyana-Isolo through Daleko Bridge will need to make use of Aiye and Osolo Way to Asa Afariogun through 7&8 to access International Airport Road. Motorists from Toyota will make use of the service lanes by Armed Forces Resettlement Centre to BOC Gases on old NAFDAC headquarters, through a U-turn at Cappa on Agege Motor Road to Bolade/Oyetayo Street (Oshodi-Isolo Local Govt Secretariat) through Bolade on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway via Charity in order to reach International Airport Road.”

Rather, motorists, who were expected to use the service lane through to Oshodi to connect the Airport Road were seen plying one-way freely connecting the bridge that links Airport road to Oshodi without any reprimand from traffic officials maintaining law and order on the route.

Also, motorcyclists that were prohibited from the route were seen atop the bridge carrying passengers, especially marketers and consumers of vehicle spare parts at the Ladipo Market at Toyota Bus Stop.

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The terrible state of the alternative routes, especially the Daleko-Aiye-Osolo axis has left many motorists with no option than to drive against traffic (one-way) from Charity through the bridge to 7&8.

A tricycle operator, Henry Chukwueze, said bad roads make him visit the mechanic workshop every alternate day, making him spend heavily on maintenance from the little he makes from fares.

Another road user, Nathaniel Onyeka, said a woman had suffered a miscarriage due to the gullies on the road, and pleaded with the government to repair the roads, especially now that the Airport Bridge has been closed.

However, The Guardian inquiry on the disorderliness on the route alerted men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to swing into action as they were sighted apprehending defaulters yesterday.

In his response, the spokesman of the Agency, Olumide Filade, said: “We have officers directing traffic on the axis. Everything is under control.”

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