Oshodi-Apapa Expressway: Still no dice for Apapa residents, commuters
Over two months since the federal and Lagos State governments jointly took steps to immediately remedy the chaotic traffic situation at the Apapa axis of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, it appears the efforts are still far from yielding fruits.
This is because not only have the long, grueling queues of articulated vehicles resurfaced after only two weeks of semblance of sanity, most motorists now drive against traffic between Coker and Mile 2 bus-stops in order not to spend their entire day trying to get to their destinations. During the week, this chaotic situation even drifted down to Ijesha Bus Stop. Matters are also made worse by the fact that articulated vehicles are now parking on streets within the Mile 2 Low Cost Housing Estate, and between Mazamaza and Alakija bus stops.
At present, motorists are moving at snail’s speed on the ring roads around Mile 2 Flyover, while ascending and descending the bridge is increasingly becoming Herculean tasks. Those heading towards the flyover and adjoining roads at Second Rainbow and Mile 2 are practically crawling, while the spillover effect has given rise to slow traffic on both sides of the Orile-Badagry Expressway.
In addition to this, trucks and tankers have narrowed down the service lane from the flyover bridge to Ijesha, while the expressway is most times completely blocked by articulated vehicles brazenly parked from Fatgbems to Second Rainbow, and even up to Sanya Bus Stop sometimes.On bad days, from Second Rainbow to Cele Bus Stop, articulated vehicles take up to two lanes on the road. Once this happens, connecting the Mile 2 Flyover becomes a huge burden, especially with the traffic from that end spilling up to Coker, Sanya and Odi Olowu bus stops. Once this happens, it becomes very difficult to connect the by-pass at Second Rainbow in order to avoid the traffic jam at Mile 2 corridor for those heading to Festac and its environs.
At the peak of the traffic crisis, Ambode said his administration, would not only upgrade the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT) Truck Park, but would also expand the facility to accommodate more articulated vehicles. But when The Guardian visited the ABAT park, only a few trucks were parked in the largely unkempt environment, while work was also ongoing to expand its carrying capacity.
A staff of the contracting company informed The Guardian that the topsoil was being replaced since the place is a swampy area, adding that the refurbished and expanded facility would not be ready this year. He claimed that the first phase of the project, would not be ready this year, even as it would take about six months to complete the project. “You can see that we are still removing the topsoil in order to replace it with a new one. If we don’t do that many trucks and tankers would get stuck. So we don’t want the vehicles getting stuck or a situation, where the surface of the park is damaged.”
A resident of the area, Dele Adebiyi, wondered why it is taking the government an age to find a lasting solution to tankers parking on the road, endangering the lives of motorists and residents.
“No responsible government will allow things to keep on going the way they have. We were full of expectations when the Federal Government came into the picture, but whatever little gains that were recorded within the first two weeks or so of the task force operating have been completely erased.”
Another resident, Blessing Thomas lamented that she and her entire family go through hell to and from school and work with no solution in sight. She appealed to the government to get serious with efforts to return sanity to the area, stressing that, “returning home after a tough day at work is always a horrible experience for those of us leaving within this vicinity.”
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