By Ambrose Nnaji
The Coordinating Director, Highway Construction and Rehabilitation, Nigeria, Mr Funsho Adebiyi, has reassured the Federal government’s commitment to bringing the incessant gridlock and truck hazard on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to a stop.
Adebiyi who stated this during an inspection tour of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway rehabilitation and reconstruction project said that the federal government was reconvening another tripartite meeting.
He said that those being invited to the meeting included the Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state governments, as well as truck drivers and owners, traffic regulatory agencies, among others.
He said that drastic measures would be taken to tackle the problem in each state in conjunction with their governments.
He lamented the constant presence of articulated trucks parking indiscriminately on the Oghere section of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project damaging new construction work on the highway.
“You see trailers in their hundreds parked on the road shoulders we are just repairing.
“Some of them are not parked empty they are carrying as much as 900 bags of cement and they are abandoned there on the road shoulder,” he said.
According to him, apart from the dead weight of the parked trucks which causes quick road degeneration, the vehicles are usually repaired on the road, thereby spilling petroleum products on the highway.
He said that such petroleum products caused materials used to construct the highway to disintegrate fast thereby damaging the highway to reduce its lifespan.
He said that four previous stakeholders’ meetings held with truck drivers and owners, as well as other stakeholders did not achieve the desired results hence the need for another meeting.
He said: “I had invited my minister to a town hall meeting before and he has met them and we are organising another town hall meeting with them next week Friday and Saturday, to come and sit down with them to discuss with the truck drivers, truck owners, the truck park operators.
“And we are making efforts also to construct parks where they can park, about 4,000 capacity trucks.
“It will be constructed still along this Oghere end but we are begging them to stop parking on the road.
The director appealed to truck drivers to stop the road abuse, adding that, overloading endangered both the safety of highways and that of road users.
Earlier, while inspecting section one of the highway which stretches from Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu Interchange, Adebiyi said the federal government was constructing additional two major interchanges.
He added that two flyovers were being constructed on section one, in addition to 14 existing ones on other stretches in Ogun and Oyo, to curb gridlock and improve the safety of new communities along the axis.
He added that rickety vehicles and reckless driving were the usual cause of gridlock on the Lagos axis of the highway.
He appealed to owners of such rickety vehicles to stay off highways to avert breakdowns that usually caused gridlock and resultant hardship to road users.
He also appealed for lane discipline as well as adherence to traffic rules to end gridlock on the Lagos end.
In the same vein, the Coordinating Director said that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway would be completed and completely opened to traffic in December this year.
He said the dual carriageway would be completed, but the bridges would be completed in April 2022.
He reaffirmed that the completion figures earlier presented by Mr. Adedamola Kuti, the Director, Federal Highways, South West who said that by December the entire carriageway would be completed.
Kuti said that the project had reached at least 49.6 percent completion on the first section being handled by Julius Berger and 56.8 percent on the section handled by RCC.
He said that 32 out of 43.6 kilometres of work had been completed and section two which is 84 kilometers has more than 50 kilometres completed on both carriageways.
“This corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway apart from all the flyovers by the time we are coming to December this year, I think there will be substantial progress.
” Section one is 49.6 per cent completed, section two is 56.8 per cent, so, we are making progress,” he said.
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