The horror called Apapa-Oshodi Expressway
In saner climes, the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and adjoining roads should be a model of Nigeria’s super highway because of its economic importance; rather than the embarrassment and eyesore that daily assault the psyche of Nigerians.
The highway services the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja, (MMIA), the country’s busiest and most viable seaports, Apapa and Tin-Can ports, as well as a major link between the Island and the mainland. However, some sizeable sections of the highway have failed and strident appeals have been made to the Federal Government to fix the road.
Daily, thousands of road users go through hell meandering through several failed spots that dot the highway. To these commuters, lamentations alone are not enough to express their anguish, which ordinarily should not take up to five minutes, but where they now spend two to three hours.
The pain is not the discomfort of traffic snarl arising from the bad spot; rather it is scarce petrol that is wasted in hours of traffic, as well as the lives wasted as articulated vehicles and trucks with unlatched containers fall into the ditch, disgorging their contents on anything in sight – moving vehicles, pedestrians and road infrastructure.
The Lagos State government recently blamed the persistent gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway partly on the failure of the road as well as the poor design, stressing that the roads were not designed for the pressure they are presently subjected to.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Ajibade Bade–Adebowale and the General Manager of the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, Mr. Ayo Shodeinde disclosed these while addressing newsmen.
Shodeinde said: “We have two roads that are of major challenge to us. They are Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and Lagos-Abeokuta Express way. During the era of President Olusegun Obasanjo, the reconstruction was done by Messer Julius Berger, but the road later failed.
The state government, knowing this, has continuously embarked on palliative works on the road. We have discovered that the road had failed even from inception. The road is substandard compared to the pressure it is subjected to. The volume of vehicles plying the road daily is massive,” he added.
Kayode Ibidemi, lamenting the the deplorable state of the expressway, said it has become a nightmare to residents as bus drivers often resort to driving against traffic, which put the lives of pedestrians at great risk.
“It is not funny having to spend about three hours on a journey that is supposed to take just five minutes because of the bad portions of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway in Ballet/Ilasamaja axis. Sincerely, am not impressed that Fashola as Works Minister has not been able to fix that road being a former Lagos State governor after over six months in office.
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