Road users in pains as Oshodi/Apapa Expressway worsens
There is no disputing the fact that Oshodi/Apapa Expressway in Lagos State, is one of the country’s busiest roads.
As a result of the heavy human and vehicular traffic on the road daily, wear and tear is expected to equally be rapid; hence the need for concerned authorities to always be on hand to attend to such occurrences.
But the unfolding scenario on this road, suggests either a sloppy pace of doing so, or outright insensitivity on the part of government, in attending to the plight of the road users, on the one hand.
On the other hand, it suggests the inability of government to curb the excesses of articulated vehicle drivers, especially tanker and truck drivers, who constitute a great deal of nuisance from the Sunrise, Westminster and Warehouse bus stops to the Coconut Bus Stop axis of the road.
Consequently, a lengthy stretch of this part of the road, especially the service lane, has been deserted by other motorists for trucks and tankers.
For a greater part of the day, moving trucks snake around the service lane, in spaces left unoccupied by stationary ones. This picture is also reflected on the expressway proper, where stationary and moving tankers suffocate other road users.
Beyond taking up nearly every available space, the carelessness displayed by these drivers, coupled with the ever-expanding craters on the road, usually lead to these articulated vehicles tumbling down every now and then causing severe traffic snarl.
The bad state of this stretch of the road, is further worsened by the clogged drains, which to a large extent, ensure that vast stretches of the road remain flooded weeks after a heavy downpour.
Considering the fact that this road leads to one of Nigeria’s busiest and biggest sea port- the Tincan Port- several tank farms and other money-spinning businesses, one would have thought that keeping it in good shape would be a top priority of government, but the reverse is the case.
Now, residents and commuters have resigned themselves to their fate, while some businesses there continue to count their loses.
A resident of the area, Mrs. Florence Nwachukwu, pleads with the government to come to their aide, as cars and buses find it increasingly difficult to meander their way.
“It feels like the government has completely abandoned us because with all our pleas, we have nothing to show for it. From the traffic gridlock, to tankers parked on the expressway, to the refuse dumps that are sprouting up, nothing has been done so far. Now, parts of the road have gradually deteriorated making it difficult for cars and buses to navigate through, especially when it rains, and the potholes in these failed portions of the road continue to widen in size, as rainwater washes off the remaining part.
“Only trailers and heavy trucks with big tyres can access these roads well enough, although it takes them longer time to move short distances. Once they try to move a bit fast, these craters cause them to fall down. The moment this happens, the road becomes practically impassable because of the high number of cars that are jostling to go through the narrowed lanes,” she added.
Consequent upon this ugly development, most motorists have resorted to using link roads around the area to cut off from the expressway.
Sadly, most of these link roads are no better, but simply manageable. Those that are not keen on doing so resort to driving against the traffic, a situation that has become the new normal.
“I have been navigating through this road for years now, and I must say it is not easy using the link roads because they are also always overcrowded, even though not flooded like the expressway when there is a downpour. Also, driving against traffic has become the norm around here. I would say that passengers should thank us daily because most times after going through this road, our vehicles would need mandatory servicing, “ lamented Emeka, a commercial bus driver.
He continued, “This section of the road is so bad and is gradually becoming totally impassable due to the many potholes, as well as, the unfortunate accidents that occur here between tankers and trucks.”
Kabiru, a tanker driver appealed to the Federal Government to repair the road before it becomes totally impassable.
“The Federal Government should fix this road before it becomes totally impassable. We are all aware that the impact of heavy-duty vehicles on the road is taking its toll on the road, thereby making it compulsory to always maintain the roads,” he appealed.
“Sometimes our tyres get stuck in the big potholes when the road is flooded and before you know what is happening, the truck falls down and blocks the road. The bad state of the road is really not our fault. So, the Federal Government should not wait till it becomes impassable before repairing it,” he appealed.
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