Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway: Temporary relief for motorists
With the ongoing repair works on the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, motorists and other road users can, for now, heave a temporary sigh of relief.
All through this year, especially since the rains commenced, motorists and residents of the area were forced to endure torrid times on the road, which appeared to have been completely abandoned by both the federal and state governments.
The Guardian’s exclusive report on the exclusion of the road from the list of roads listed by the Federal Government for rehabilitation this year, further angered motorists, who saw the development as a pain in the neck.
They did not only rue the neglect of the road, they also raised the alarm that if no attention is paid to the road soonest, their agony and that of other road users would be compounded.
Before now, traveling from Sango to Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital was always a driver’s delight, as the incessant traffic-jam associated with Lagos State were easily forgotten once they got there. But the stretch between Sango and Ifo, has gotten so deplorable, forcing many to seek alternative routes.
The black spots on this route are at Sango Bus Stop, Sango bridge edge, Joju/NEPA Junction, Conoil Junction, Owode, Iyana-Ilogbo, Ilepa and TECNO bus stops, all on the Ifo axis.
The small ditch at the bridge edge towards Joju, which was left unattended to, has now become a crater that has started creating serious traffic jams on the bridge, especially during rush hours.
Though it was hurriedly repaired mid-last year when Governor Ibikunle Amosun, visited the area, the portion soon started failing again and got worse overtime.
Joju/NEPA Junction is another location, which is of great concern, even as it is fast becoming a death trap. All day, motorists plying the road insist that the bad portion, which spans about 25 metres long, and three feet deep, constitutes a nuisance.
While Conoil junction is another trouble spot, Owode is no better. The section, which extends to Iyana-Ilogbo, has caused six serious accidents in recent times, three of which involved fuel-laden tankers. A life was lost in one of the mishaps, while property worth millions of naira including houses and shops were razed down.
After a lot of outcry, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), last week commenced depositing granite, on affected sections of the road. As at Thursday, the FERMA team had moved from the tollgate to Joju Junction. At Owode, the stones were yet to be spread.
Drivers plying this road daily complain that its condition has contributed immensely to the wear and tear of their vehicles, apart from the traffic snarl they have to contend with.
A transporter, Ayinde Kazeem, though lauded FERMA for the palliative said the application may not really make any difference, as it is not the real solution to the problem.
“We expected government to do something meaningful now, as the rains have subsided. This palliative cannot stand the test of time. The major problem is that FERMA is helpless and we may have to continue to endure this until there is a miracle. The excuse given by FERMA then was that they could not embark on road construction during raining season. Even now that we are approaching the dry season, they seem to be helpless,” he said.
Ogun State FERMA boss, Alexander Mazoya, told The Guardian on phone that the agency is carrying out the palliative on direct labour basis because no money has been released for the road repairs.
“We are just doing some palliative works pending when the bigger contract will come. What we are doing is direct labour. We have now reached Owode. God helping us, we would get to Ifo and other bad sections.”