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Concerns as repairs of burnt Lagos Airport bridge begin

By Eniola Daniel and Jesutomi Akomolafe
13 August 2021   |   4:10 am
There were concerns yesterday over the planned traffic diversion on Oshodi/Apapa Expressway to give way for repairs of the burnt Lagos Airport Flyover.

Government begins repair of burnt Lagos Airport link bridge PHOTO: AYODELE ADENIRAN

There were concerns yesterday over the planned traffic diversion on Oshodi/Apapa Expressway to give way for repairs of the burnt Lagos Airport Flyover.

During the planned six weeks closure, Ladipo market road and the service lane would be the only available routes for motorists going to Oshodi from Apapa.

But motorists are worried about the likely traffic bottleneck the closure would cause as Ladipo market road has been blocked for weeks by the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

The blockade followed failure of the leaders of Ladipo Auto Spare Parts market to reach a truce with LAWMA on environmental issues that led to the partial closure of the market.
Also, as of yesterday, abandoned vehicles and trucks were parked on the service lane and roads in the market.

The road will be closed to traffic from today, Friday, August 13, 2021, until September 22, 2021 according to the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola.

Popoola said traffic on Apakun axis on Oshodi Expressway would be diverted to Ladipo service lane and Airport Road for three days, starting from midnight on Friday, adding that repair works on the bridge will begin August 16 with traffic diversion around the construction zone to enable the contractor work on damaged part of the bridge.

He said: “The closure of Oshodi Expressway at Apakun will be on Friday, August 13, by 12.00 p.m. till August 16, Monday morning. Traffic will be diverted to Ladipo service lane from August 16, while the carriageway will be narrowed to two outer lanes to enable the contractor carry out the jacketing of the pier. This will last for five weeks, from August 16 to September 22,” he said.

He however appealed to road users to obey traffic rules and regulations around the construction zone to ensure safety and speedy completion of the project.

When The Guardian reached out to Popoola on the parked containers blocking Ladipo road, he said, the ministry would work with LAWMA to remove them.

But some motorists, who spoke to The Guardian yesterday, expressed mixed feelings.

They said the closure would compound traffic situations and make them spend more hours in traffic if there is no proper coordination.

They also called on concerned authorities to ensure traffic officers are mobilised for effective coordination since the expressway leads to two busiest ports in the country.

A road user, Nnamdi Okechukwu, said, although the repair is long overdue, there should be a way to handle it well because majority of road users want the bridge repaired.

He said: “We spend one hour sometimes on this road on a normal day. With the closure, people should prepare for the worst if traffic officials fail to do the right thing.”

When contacted, President General, Ladipo Traders Association, Jude Nwankwo, said: “I don’t want to comment on the issue for now, but I will personally call you when we are done with them.”