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Motorists advised on lane discipline as two-month Lagos-Ibadan highway closure begins

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The convergence point of the partial closure where both inward and outward bound lanes merge.PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

• Don’t panic, we have deployed over 300 officers on two shifts, says FRSC
• Oyo deploys 100 road managers to ease congestion

After the shelving of an earlier advertised date in August, the Kara end of Lagos-Ibadan expressway was yesterday partially closed to motorists to give way for the ongoing reconstruction work on the highway. The partial closure, scheduled to last two months, will affect the entire 600 metres stretch of the Kara Bridge to Berger new garage.

To allay the fears of motorists, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said it has mobilised and deployed over 300 officers for two shifts operations on the highway. The Lagos State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Hyginus Omeje, made this known to newsmen yesterday after the corps and the construction company successfully carried out the diversion at 1:20p.m.

Earlier in the day, the corps had deployed officers as early as 6:00a.m. for traffic management of vehicles coming in and going out of Lagos. FRSC officials were seen from the pedestrian bridge at Berger by Oando while the construction workers carried out a route lining for lanes to guide inward and outward bound motorists.

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Omeje, who urged both motorists and commuters not to panic on the development, said that nothing had really changed after the diversion as the road still allowed two lanes it was designated originally for. According to him, the problem usually in the corridor is the multiplicity of lanes that cause unnecessary gridlock and confusion on the two-lane corridor.

He said: “We have successfully done the diversion today. We deployed as early as 6:00a.m and Julius Berger (the construction firm) met us on ground to tell you that we are ready.
For sustainability and to ensure that our officers do not wear off, we are operating the shifts system. What we did was to withdraw personnel from our 13 component units in Lagos.

“We pull personnel from those units and component commands, and we camp them in the state headquarters in Ojodu from where they will be deployed on daily basis in the two shifts.
The first shift would work from 6:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. while the second shift would work from 1:00p.m. to 10:00p.m daily.

“So, there is no cause for alarm. Nobody will sleep on the road; if anybody will sleep on the road, we (FRSC) will be the one to sleep, not really the commuters. All we are asking from the road users is to obey simple traffic rules and regulations. It is two lanes that lead to Lagos and two lanes out of Lagos, motorists should not create extra lanes.”

According to Omeje, new speed limit, diversion signs and lane discipline must be complied with, as the corps was collaborating with other sister agencies like the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE), the police to ensure free flow of traffic.

He also added that towing trucks are already on standby to evacuate any broken-down vehicles off the road. “This is to avoid unnecessary backlog of traffic along this corridor. We will also ensure that commercial buses don’t stay on the road to pick passengers and compound the traffic situation.”

Also, the Oyo State government yesterday deployed 100 traffic managers to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to make the road less congested for users. Executive Chairman, Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority (OYRTMA), Dr. Akin Fagbemi, disclosed this yesterday while speaking on the efforts of the state to ease the burden of travelers using the major highway.

Fagbemi said the 100 traffic managers would be on ground along the expressway, especially at the points where construction works would be taking place to avoid congestion and traffic snarl, saying that commuters could get in touch with the men of the agency on +2348114390097 to report any complaint or seek help on the highway within the period.

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