Gnashing of teeth as Lagos-Abeokuta expressway fails
Two years after the rehabilitation of Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway commenced, the road has degenerated as commuters gnash their teeth in traffic gridlocks.
For motorists and other road users, it is another tortuous long wait for help as there are no signs of intervention as a long stretch of the expressway is in a decrepit.
Though the project was initially awarded to Julius Berger Plc in 1999, it suffered setbacks due to paucity of funds.
And on May 14, 2018, the project was re-launched by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing at the cost of N22.387 billion, with a mobilisation fee of N3.5 billion paid a few days after.
The Director, Federal Highways, South West, Olalekan Busari, who flagged-off the rehabilitation project, told journalists then: “The project was divided into two sections. The first section, which starts from Ile Zik in Lagos State, spans about 20 km, while the second section, which falls within Ogun State, is 60km. It is a complete rehabilitation of the entire road for a period of two and a half years.”
But with just five months left to the expiration of the contract period, The Guardian checks revealed that the level of work done so far on the road is below five per cent.
Currently, the stretch between the Old Tollgate, Sango, in Ogun State and General Bus Stop in Abule-Egba area of Lagos State is a worst-affected portion of the road. The stretch from Obadeyi Bus Stop via Ijaiye, through Iyana-Meiran, Salolo, Adura, Casso to Kollignton Bus Stop is also an eye-sore.
According to the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) report released last November, 33 people have died out of 1,254 persons involved in a total of 140 auto crashes at the tollgate in the last five years.
Beyond the tollgate, the most terrible spots along the Abeokuta road are Joju Junction, Con Oil Junction, Ijako-Tipper, Owode, Iyana-Ilogbo, Ilepa, Iyana-Shebik, Papalanto, Ewekoro, Iyana-Egbado, Itori Bridge, and Obada-Oko, among others. The worst stretch of the axis is from Ewekoro to Itori.
Traffic in and around these failed spots is always gnashing.
“It is a shame that the road has been left to degenerate to this level, which shows the insensitivity of the government. Though it is a federal road, Lagos State government shouldn’t have left the road to degenerate to this level. At least, a sort of palliative should have been applied to reduce the agony of road users,” a trader lamented.
All calls across to the Federal Controller of Work in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola, to get an update on the contract were not picked. A text message sent to him has also not been replied as of the time of filing this report.