Several motorists and passengers travelling to Lagos from other parts of the country on Wednesday lost several man hours on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway owing to the resumption of construction works there by Julius Berger Plc .
The construction taking place around the ‘Kara’ Bridge on the Lagos out bound corridor of the Lagos Ibadan Expressway led to road diversions for motorists coming to Lagos and for those traveling to other parts of the country from Lagos.
Our correspondent who witnessed the development observed that several passengers who had boarded some commercial buses and private cars had to alight.
They resorted to boarding commercial motorcycles plying Mowe in Ogun to Berger Bus stop in Lagos state despite that they were riding against traffic.
Several others travelling to Lagos to resume work or perform other transactions were also stranded at various bus stops in Mowe, Ibafo, Asese, Prayer City, Magboro, Arepo and Warewa respectively.
Those who boarded commercial motorcycles said that they had to revert to that option and pay extra fares for them to reach their destinations on time.
Some passengers who rode on commercial motorcycles from Ibafo to Berger Bus stop that the traffic had stretched to Prayer City Bus Stop as at 11.45 a.m.
Mr Chidi Nnamidi, a car owner who works on Victoria Island, said that he left home at 5.a.m., but as at 9.45 a.m., he was still held up in the traffic on the long bridge linking Warewa with OPIC.
” My brother, If I had known the situation was going to be like this today, I would have stayed back at home.
“What tangible work will I be able to do again today on getting to the office. Do I even know when that will be?”
He said that Julius Berger Plc should have created passable alternative routes for vehicles plying the route.
He said this was because the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway happens to be the busiest road in the country.
He also appealed to various owners of faith -based organisations with their camps along the Lagos- Ibadan Expressway to plead with the Federal Government over the plights of their members.
Nnamidi said that most of the members of such organisations used to ply the Expressroad on daily basis and whenever they have programmes at their camps.
” If the situation is like this on a Wednesday, how will it be on days those faith-based organisations will be having their monthly programmes?
” Assuming this kind of gridlock had happened at night, would it not have been an opportunity for armed robbers and hoodlums to attack innocent lives?” Nnamidi said.
Another vehicle owner, Mr Waheed Idowu, described the situation as terrible. “It is a serious situation now.
” I left home at Ibafo around 6 a.m for a trip that should have lasted 30 minutes at the maximum to Lagos . I am still on the long bridge axis at 9.50 a.m. You can see the waste in human and material resources . ” he said.
Similarly, Mr John Ola who joined another passenger to ride on a motorcycle told NAN that each of them paid N500 from Magboro Bus stop to Berger.
” The bike riders rode against traffic on the Expressway. I was praying that we would not be involved in any accident with any of the oncoming vehicles or motorbikes,”he said.
Ola added that most commercial bike riders were not always after the safety of their passengers but what would accrue to them financially as soon as their passengers had mounted their bikes.
Also, Mrs Bolatito Olayemi, a parent who was taking her children to school said that it was very inconsiderate of the construction company not to have made provisions for alternative routes before the resumption of construction works along the corridor.
She said that the situation of the road would affect her children’s school activities.
“Only God will help my boys to meet up with their school activities.
“We have been on the road since 6:45 a.m. and it is very sad that we are still on the long bridge after two hours,” she said.
A trader who identified herself as Kafayat said that lower class road users would feel the impact most because of the hike in transport fare.
“Bus drivers and conductors have started charging us double.
“ The transport fare from Berger to Ojota used to be N200 per passenger but I’ve been unable to board a vehicle because of the new price which is N500 per passenger.
“I hope an end comes to this very soon,” she said.
Similarly, Ope Adeyemi, a student, aid that danfo drivers were taking the new development out on passengers by hiking fares.
“We have no choice but to pay the amount they’re asking for.
“That’s the price we have to pay for whatever is happening right now and all we need do is pray that God grants the construction company the zeal to complete the project on schedule,” Adeyemi said.
Some passengers had resorted to walking after they had alighted from their vehicles after long hours of sitting.
Some vehicles had developed engine problems because the engines had been working for hours.
Also, the pep bottle water sellers jerked up the cost of each bottle to N100 from the normal N50 per bottle while other hawkers were also meandering within the clustered lanes in the traffic to sell their wares.
Preparation on the 600 metres Lagos outbound diversion began on Thursday and was concluded on Tuesday.
The diversion on the section began with the partial closure of the Lagos in bound portion on the ‘Kara’ Bridge on Sept. 2, 2019, resulting to traffic diversion.
Construction work on the portion was completed on Dec.1 , 2019, but work on the Kagos outbound section was suspended then due to the Yuletide.