Abule-Egba/Oshodi BRT construction work: Commuters, motorists endure traffic snarl
Those that hoped the completion of the Abule-Egba Jubilee Flyover would ease the perennial gridlock on the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, may have to wait for the next 12 months for their dreams to be actualised.
Motorists, commuters and other road users plying that route are presently going through some nightmare as the traffic situation around that axis is getting worse by the day. No thanks to the ongoing construction of a dedicated lane for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
From dawn to dusk, the gridlock is ever present, and precious man-hours are wasted, as commuters, especially those working at Oshodi, Apapa, and the Island, among other areas get stuck for lengthy periods. The construction, which took-off from Oja-Oba, Abule-Egba area, started prior to the commissioning of the bridge on Wednesday, May 17, 2017.
This is the first phase of the BRT lane, from Abule-Egba to Oshodi. The second phase, which is the Abule-Egba to Tollgate, would commence after the completion of the first phase. The state government built and commenced the implementation of a BRT scheme on a dedicated 22km lane, between CMS and Mile 12, on Ikorodu Road, since 2006. It recently extended it by 13.5km to Ikorodu.
According to the Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Mr. Abiodun Dabiri, in a statement released earlier in the year, the BRT system will on completion improve travel time, reduce congestion along the corridor, reduce tail pipe emission (and ultimately Green House Gas effect), create employment and restore family values, among other socio-economic and environmental benefits.
He said project would be accomplished within the next 20 months, and would also reduce travel time along the route by at least 40 per cent.“Due to the huge successes recorded by the BRT system, the Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, as part of his vision of ensuring public transport accessibility to Lagosians has approved the construction of the 14-kilometre Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT,” the statement stated.
The lane was carved out of the existing four-lane road, after the demolition of the median, which served as demarcation on the road.Since a larger chunk of the ever-busy express road was carved out, motorists are forced to make do with one lane apiece, a development, which has adversely slowed down vehicular movement. This has also led to serious traffic gridlock on the axis daily.
For now, driving to Oshodi from Abule-Egba, or to Ile-Epo axis, which shouldnormally take 45 minutes to one hour, consumes between two and a half hours and three hours.
Situation in areas like Iyana-Ipaja, Dopemu, Cement, and Ile-Zik that are heavy traffic zones, has been made worse by the fact that men and machinery working on the road have taken up half of the one-lane being used.The Guardian observed that motorists are now taking the only alternative route-Agege/Capitol Road, but the area too has been facing serious traffic snarl, as the inner roads, which should have eased the challenge of connecting the express road are in bad shape.
Peeved road users, including motorists are casting aspersions on the state government, while others are giving it thumbs-up as the job when completed would ease commuters’ plight when the BRT buses commence operation.
Akanji Seun, a transporter, sees the development as a waste of time and state resources, adding that before the commencement of the project, government ought to have expanded the road to make life easy for road users, instead of being subjected to pains.
He noted that the ugly situation would have been avoidable if government did its homework properly, “but since no government officials are living along this axis, they won’t know what we are suffering. We have to endure this for the next 12 months.”
Tokunbo Phillips, a civil servant, who described the axis as a highly congested route, said after its completion, the BRT system would address high traffic volume of unregulated, fragmented, uncomfortable, unsafe and largely unreliable bus services, along with the indiscriminate picking and dropping of passengers along the corridor.
“What we are going through is only going to last for a period of time; we have to endure the present situation. By the time the job is completed, the road will be better of. Look at Ikorodu Road; nobody believed it would be as smooth as it is now.”