Road users groan over slow pace of work on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway
In the last two weeks, commuting along the ever-busy Apapa-Oshodi Expressway has become a nightmare for road users. The users, who are mostly drivers, are worried about the slow pace of construction in the area and poor arrangement made by the contractors, who are now paving the service lane.
According to them, driving on the highway, especially at night, has been a nightmare for motorists since the construction got to the Toyota Bus Stop, the access road to the popular Ladipo International Spare Parts Market.
According to them, the inability of the contractors to fix road signs and clues to assist motorists navigate the area, especially with the closure of the burnt Airport Link Road is increasing their nightmares.
Consequently, the place has become disarrayed with car dealers, roadside mechanics and cab drivers parking on the highway and worsening the situation for commuters.
Olawale Sulaimon, a road user in the area narrated to The Guardian how traders from Ladipo market stop to fix cars on the highway, thereby causing serious traffic on the road.
He said: “Normally before this construction, we usually encounter traffic because we have many potholes. Since they started the road construction, they have been slow. We are looking forward to its completion. A major challenge now is the dust. We expect them to wet it regularly but they are not doing that.”
He added that pedestrians at Toyota Bus Stop have been calling for a pedestrian bridge to reduce accidents in the area but have been denied by the Federal Ministry of Works.
“We have been asking for a pedestrian bridge in this Toyota, they are saying they cannot give us a pedestrian bridge here because there is one already at 5-Star Bus Stop that they cannot build two pedestrian bridges almost at the same place.
Shakirat Durojaiye, a trader in the area, appealed to contractors to hasten the activities of construction as the delay in the construction has led to dwindling business transactions. She also added that more pedestrians may die from road accidents if there is no quick response from the Federal Government in the construction of pedestrian bridges.
“We want them to construct a bridge here because of accidents recorded here. The number of accidents in the area has increased. I have seen pedestrians killed by cars and trailers who died immediately. I really appreciate the government for the work they are doing. It is very good and when they are done with the road, they should consider constructing a pedestrian bridge, which will discourage people from crossing the highway. If people use the bridge the number of accidents will reduce,” she said.
Another trader, Temilade Adedipe, also appealed to the government to site a bridge in the area. She said: “We are begging them to give us a pedestrian bridge.”
It is affecting us. Accidents are increasing by the day because of absence of a bridge and the bridge at 5-star is too far. We cannot even use it because of hoodlums staying there; they do rob us of our belongings.
A trader, Iya Blessing added that the road construction is for the benefit of Lagosians, revealing that the rate of accidents at Toyota Bus Stop is increasing. She stated that sometimes, truck laden would fall on pedestrians trying to cross the three lane highway while some will bike riders that may have to be removed from beneath the truck.
But reacting to the plight of road users, Federal Controller of Works, Popoola Olukoyade, and engineer said he was not aware of any official request for a pedestrian bridge at Toyota Bus Stop.
He added that for construction of the pedestrian bridge to take place, there has to be an official letter written to the ministry before the road can receive the desired attention.
“The procedure of requesting for a pedestrian bridge in Toyota is that, they will write officially for us to take note of it and then come in,” he said.
He also added that the ministry is ready to evacuate cars and trucks parked around 5-Star down to Toyota Bus Stop in order to hasten construction and reduce traffic.
He said: “We will send all illegal parking of vehicles at Toyota bus stop away. All the people that are parking on the road are illegal occupants. We will flush them off and send them away. The contractor is doing his best however he will speed up. The whole road will be completed before the end of the year. Maybe in another two months we should be off that section.”