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Government silent on reopening Airport Road bridge one month after closure

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Cars plying one-way

As police, LASTMA turn alternative route to ‘industry’

One month after the closure of the bridge linking Airport Road to Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Lagos, road users have begun to lament the continued closure as the state and Federal Government remain silent on when to reopen the road.

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The major concern of motorists is activities of policemen and officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), who often arrest and seize vehicles plying alternative routes and tag them ‘one-way traffic offenders.’

The closure causes logjams on the busy road, even as the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, has remained silent on the opening since the announcement of temporary restrictions to vehicular movements on the bridge.

The Lagos State government had, on January 10, announced the closure of the bridge following the inferno that occurred on the expressway as a result of an explosion from a tanker.

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Motorists who spoke with The Guardian said the sordid state of the alternative routes, especially Daleko-Aiye-Osolo to airport axis had made them drive against traffic (one-way) from Charity through the bridge to 7&8 Bus Stop.

Some road users who spoke with The Guardian on Monday claimed that the continuous closure and silence of the government on the state of the road had forced many to use one-way, using the bridge from Charity down to Airport Road.

Burnt airport road bridge


One Bolaji said: “On a normal day, we cannot pass here, but we are being forced to pass this route when they have refused to open the road. What will it take them to work on the bridge and let everyone continue with their business? I heard that over 50 cars have been stopped here. I do not understand this government. Those whose car was seized paid something before they got it back.”

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Another, Abdulrahmon said: “They make life hard for Nigerians when it comes to things that would benefit us. If it is banditry, robbery and things that would make life good for us, it will take them years to find solutions. I am sure no test is going on there. They are just giving the policemen a chance to seize private cars.”

Road users appealed to Lagos State government to open the bridge and also warned on impending danger of chasing offenders on the bridge, as it might cause auto crashes, which might lead to vehicles falling off the bridge.

An auto mechanic that works at the Ladipo market said: “Very soon, vehicles will be falling from the bridge with the way policemen are chasing private vehicles on the bridge. You will see them wait for private cars using one-way. Their activities may lead to devastating accidents. This is not good for us as a country.”

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One of the road users, Goke, said the road linking Daleko and Aiye to Osolo Way was in a state of disrepair and would get worse with the diversion of traffic to the axis if the government kept the bridge shut.

“The closure is for our own good, but we are caught between taking the risk of plying one-way from Charity Bus Stop and taking this route. On a good day, Aiye Junction is a bottleneck with traffic at all times of the day. The traffic jam there has now been compounded with the diversion with no information on when the integrity test would start or end on the bridge.”

A bus driver, Tochukwu Eze, said while driving against the traffic, a trailer almost fell off. He added that if the government failed to give the road urgent attention, scores of accidents would be recorded.

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