Owode: Once Upon A Bad Bad Ogun Road
OWODE axis, one of the failed portions on the Lagos/Abeokuta Expressway, has gone from bad to worse. This is the result of a two-day downpour that washed away the palliative put in place by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
Since Monday, motorists plying Sango/Ifo; Abeokuta/Oshodi; and Ifo/Agege have been encountering serious challenges passing through the failed section, amid terrible traffic jam on the ever-busy road.
The situation has sparked serious gridlock from Owode to the Ijako-Tipper area. Sadly, there is no alternative route for motorists anxious to escape the nightmare.
Despite their reputation for being able to meander through heavy traffic jams, even commercial motorcyclists sometimes find the road a hard nut to crack.
From Owode community to Iyana-Ilogbo junction, the road is filled with potholes and craters. Vehicles like tippers and heavy-duty trucks alone dare these very bad portions, while cars and commercial buses stick to the more manageable right hand side of the road.
It was discovered that the major problem with the axis is lack of a functioning drainage on either sides of the road. Makeshift gutters, meanwhile, have filled up with sand and dirt, impeding free flow of water.
When The Guardian visited the place on Wednesday, a truck had deposited rocks at a section of the road, while another waited to off-load its content, preparatory to filling up a crater. But while this action might cover the gaping depression on the road, the sheer size of the rocks is not motor-friendly and promises pain or a burst tyre for drivers who go over them.
One motorist, Mr. Ade Lukman, said the proposed palliative is not the solution to the road but rather provision of a proper drainage. He noted that the sudden intervention by the road maintenance agency was due to visit by state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, to the area on Tuesday, adding that the agency had all the while been unmindful of the plight of road users.
When FERMA boss in charge of the state, Engr. Alexander Mazoya, was contacted on phone, he said one of the steps taken so far was to put in the hard core to make the road motorable for now.
Asked about the provision of a drainage, he said the agency would look into this, but that for now, it will only concentrate on putting the road in a good shape for the comfort of all road users, and that it would work on the Conoil junction axis, to ease the plight of motorists.