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Pedestrians lament non-completion of Airport Road foot bridge

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As students across Lagos State resume learning activities fully, parents and pedestrians have expressed displeasure over abandonment of the International Airport Road footbridge.

They expressed concern over the safety of children crossing the expressway every morning without pedestrian bridges. The uncompleted pedestrian bridge located between Airport Junction and 7/8 Bus Stops is the link between the Mafoluku residents and Ajao Estate residents.

It is the only bridge students and residents from both communities can use whenever they want to transit to either side, but the bridge has been abandoned by contractors. Students and residents have resolved to cross the ever-busy highway, which has claimed lives in the last 12 months.

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The bridge has been left uncompleted for over one year after the road was commissioned by the administration of former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Worry about the safety of their children, a cross section of parents who spoke with The Guardian appealed to the Lagos State government to complete the bridge to ease children’s transit to school.

Mr Kolawole Ibikunle, who expressed fear of using the road, stated that the highway used by students is highly risky.

“We are very scared of the highway crossing by our children. We appeal to the government to remember the bridge and complete it” he said. Another parent, Mrs. Celestina Okechukwu, who resides in Ajao Estate, said they find it difficult to send their children from their end to another because of the busy nature of the road.

She said before the old bridge was demolished, they could send their children either way because they often made use of the bridge. She said: “As you can see, the bridge has not been completed, and crossing the road is very scary because of the continuous movement of vehicles on the expressway. We cannot send our children across because of fear. Now that they have resumed, it is another headache for us. We appeal to Governor Sanwo-Olu to help us complete the bridge so that we can make use of it.”

Another road user said she had been avoiding the expressway to move into Mafoluku due to the condition of the bridge and that she was trying to save her life by doing so when going to Mafoluku, in Oshodi.

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Peter Onwuzurike also said people have been crossing the road without the pedestrian bridge. He said: “Sometime last year, we recorded quite a number of accidents. Moving vehicles knocked down some persons who tried crossing the road at night. If the pedestrian bridge is completed, it would aid crossing and preserve the lives of Lagosians.”

According to a publication by Lafarge Africa Plc, a partner with the contractor HiTech Construction Company Limited on the project, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road is used by an average of 50,000 vehicles daily, making it one of the busiest roads in the state.

One of the road accidents which claimed lives of pedestrians as a result of the bad state of the bridge was the July 2020 fatal accident, where a man died after crashing into HiTech barrier on the road.

The unidentified middle-aged man died after crashing into a barrier placed on the right side of the Oshodi-Airport Road, Lagos, at 7 & 8 Bus Stop by the construction company.

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