The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, on Tuesday said that most of the ongoing road junctions improvement work would be delivered by the end of March to ease traffic flow in the state.
The state government, through the Ministry of Transportation, is currently reconfiguring some roundabouts to accommodate more vehicles and reduce gridlock.
The junction improvement work is ongoing at Allen Roundabout, Maryland Roundabout, First and Second Lekki Roundabouts and Ikotun Roundabout.
Oladeinde, while speaking to newsmen at Maryland roundabout during the inspection tour of the projects, said that most of them would be delivered by the end of March, and opened up up April.
The commissioner said that the Oando and Mobil gas stations at the Maryland roundabout had been taken over by the government for the project and that they would be turned to bus parks.
According to him, the junctions improvement work is aimed at increasing their capacity to accommodate more vehicles and reduce travel time for economic development.
“There are no structures affected here (Maryland) apart from the two petrol stations that have been taken over by Lagos State Government because we are going to turn them into bus parks or terminals.
“Apart from these, no structure is affected except the statue that we have taken out and relocated. This project will be completed by the end of March,” Oladeinde said.
He said that the removal of the statue at the roundabout had become imperative to increase the capacity of the junction from two lanes to three lanes, in order to accommodate more vehicles and reduce gridlock at peak period.
The commissioner said that the government was also increasing to two, the lanes for vehicles coming from Mobolaji Bank Anthony to Ojota, to remove gridlock.
He said that the government would install traffic light and reconfigure it to improve traffic flow.
At Lekki First and Second Roundabouts, Oladeinde, said that the project was more than 50 per cent completed.
He said that government was taking away the roundabouts to equally increase their capacity to accommodate more vehicles and reduce gridlock in the area.
According to him, the government is making a maximum use of the 8-plot roundabouts to create more lanes, install traffic light and signalise them.
He said that there would be six lanes instead of four at the roundabouts for the purpose of eliminating gridlock around the area.
“The project will be completed by the end of March. Most of these projects will be completed by end of March and by April, people will be getting a relief they are expecting.
“We don’t want rainy season to catch up with us here,” Oladeinde said.
Earlier at the Allen Roundabout, Oladeinde said: “we can see that a lot of work is going on and the whole junction improvement work is taking shape.
“Hopefully by the middle of April, we should complete the work here. We are waiting till the middle of April to open this up for the public use.”
According to him, the work is also to increase the capacity of the roundabout to accommodate more vehicles, thereby reducing gridlock around the area.
On the possibility of completing the project on time with the level of work and the need to demolish part of some properties, Oladeinde said that the project would be delivered on schedule.
He said that the contractor was working day and night and had met with all critical stakeholders.
“Everything that needs to be done in terms of planning has been done. What we are waiting for is execution. Planning is what takes time, execution is very fast.
“Once we work 24 hours, daytime and night time, we should be able to complete it. That is why I said middle of April; the contractor promised end of March.
“By middle of April, I am 100 per cent confident that this place will be opened,” he added.
He urged the motoring public to bear with the government, which was doing everything possible to expedite the work and minimise delay.
“The essence of removing the roundabouts is to increase the capacity of the junctions. The junctions have outlasted their usefulness and they could not cope with the demand experienced everyday.
“We are taking out the roundabouts by increasing their capacity so that we can have more cars come through the junctions.
On the property owners who would be affected by the junctions improvement work at Allen, Oladeinde said that they had been consulted, sent letters and would be compensated.
“We are not just removing the roundabouts, we are expanding the roads so that we can have three lanes all the way to Ikeja.
“We are increasing the capacity so that we can accommodate more cars and reduce congestion,” he added.
According to him, the traffic managers, especially officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), are doing everything possible to ensure traffic flow at the junctions.
Mr Olajide Oduyoye, the General Manager, LASTMA, also told newsmen that the officers of the authority were working to ensure traffic flow.
‘We are working in tandem with the Ministry of Transportation (MOT). Our primary duty and assignment is to ensure that programmes of MOT works out well.
“While the construction of those junctions are going on, LASTMA officers are there to control traffic.”
According to him, things keep changing around the junctions and a lot of drivers get confused.
“We are on ground to ensure that drivers understand the diversions and limitations and to make sure that traffic is moving around.