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Outcry over poor construction of railway level crossings in Lagos

By Victor Gbonegun
30 November 2020   |   4:21 am
The once pleasure ride in railway level crossings in several parts of Lagos is becoming a nightmare for residents and motorists due to poor construction by the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan railway project.

Ilupeju level crossing

The once pleasure ride in railway level crossings in several parts of Lagos is becoming a nightmare for residents and motorists due to poor construction by the contractor handling the Lagos-Ibadan railway project.

The Guardian investigation shows that some of the affected areas such as Ilupeju by-pass, Ikeja Along, Iju/Fagba and Jibowu/Empire are un-passable as a result of the deplorable state of the intercessions.

There were high expectations recently when the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation announced plans to temporarily close Adejobi Street, Agege; Adegbola Level Crossing and Works Road, Ikeja in continuation of the ongoing the railway modernisation project (Lagos-Ibadan section) with extension to Lagos Port, Apapa, but the people’s hopes were dashed as the spots were not fixed.

A visit to the area last week revealed that several accidents occurred on the spots and motorists plying that axis were avoiding the areas, while some had to seek alternative routes.

For instance, it takes vehicles about five minutes to drive through the messy hilly part of the intercession in Ikeja Along and Ilupeju by-pass as their tyres get stuck in the potholes, and slippery part of the crossings.

Some residents and motorists in the area who spoke with The Guardian on condition of anonymity, appealed to the government and railway authorities to order the contractor back to the sites. “These areas are terribly messed that vehicles would find it difficult passing. We humbly seek intervention of the authorities to end the untold hardship motorists and commuters face at the rail crossings at Ilupeju bypass along Oshodi-Mushin intersections, and Jibowu/Empire. The contractor handling the new rail tracks feels and thinks nothing about road users.”

A motorist, Mr. Paul Kingsley, said, “My vehicle almost fell three days ago. The portion of the railway crossing makes vehicle tyres slippery, especially when it is wet. The potholes in some parts while driving inward Barack bus stop could be very frustrating and cause traffic on that axis.”

Another road user Mr. Emma Anya, described the neglect of the portion of the road as unfortunate stressing that authorities should need to make the place smooth, to lessen hardship faced by motorists.

“Government should direct them to constantly make those places motorable to avoid accidents and save man-hour spent. A trailer almost rolled into my vehicle recently because it couldn’t easily pass the elevated part of the rail crossing at Ilupeju bypass”, he said.

The presences of officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) who moderate activities of in some of the areas, it was gathered have prevented what would have been serious accidents on the intercessions.

The Public Affairs Officer, Lagos State Public Works, Mr. Ganiu Lawal, said the affected areas are within the purview of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

“That section of the road is within the alignment of the railway line and it is expected that the contractor handling the railway modernisation project will take care of that”, he said.

The $1.6 billion Lagos-Ibadan railway project will be completed in January 2021. But reacting, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC), Yakub Mahmood, advised residents and users of the road to officially write the corporation about the situation for attention.