#BounceExclusive: Commuters Lament As BRT Lane Construction Causes Gridlock
Abraham Makinde lives in the Dopemu area of Lagos state and works at a pharmaceutical firm in Ikeja.
He leaves home for work every day at around 7am, and gets to the office 30-45 mins later with mild traffic along the road.
The return journey takes a little longer but he still gets home in good time to the warm welcome of his family members.
But all this changed a month ago after the Lagos state government started the construction of the Oshodi-Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit lane on the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
Abraham and other road users plying the road now spend longer hours caused by the chaotic gridlock on the expressway.
Some of the users who spoke to Bounce News said the ongoing project was making life unbearable for users daily.
They also expressed worry over the reduction of the expressway from five to two lanes as they believe there was not going to be an expansion.
Traffic congestion was observed on various portions during peak periods from Iyana Ipaja, Egbeda and other areas merged onto the highway.
The congestion becomes more chaotic around the Alimosho Road as traffic from Egbeda, Dopemu, Ikotun, Ijegun and other areas struggle to enter the highway.
A commercial bus driver, Issa Alatise, who plies the Iyana Ipaja-Oshodi route, complained about the traffic especially at peak periods.
He appealed to the Lagos state government to help ease the stress they go through every day now.
An engineer, Tayo Johnson said that the project’s design was faulty because critical issues on the road were not considered.
“This project won’t work, how do you put a BRT lane in the middle of a road that is not enough before, where would they park?
“How are they going to handle the pillars of the various bridges already constructed on the road?
“The road is not wide enough for vehicles, they now want to congest it to our detriment,” he said.
A worker with an Aluminum company at Dopemu appealed for expansion of the road.
“With population increasing on this axis, we expect government to expand the road before they talk of BRT corridors,’’ he said.
While motorists are daily lamenting the traffic on the expressway, hawkers are ‘smiling to the bank’
A plantain chips hawker, Chinedu, said since the construction began, he has been experiencing increase in sales.
He said even though he is not happy about the gridlock, but according to him, “one’s man meat is another man’s poison."
No cause for alarm
But the project supervisor simply identified as Moses who spoke to Bounce News, said that the project was going to address transportation problem in the area.
Moses said that the project’s duration should be between 1-2 years and it will capture four local governments, including Alimosho, Oshodi-Isolo, Ikeja and Agege.
“The project is intended to bring ease in commuting to residents on that axis.
“One of the high traffic corridors in West Africa is Abule-Egba route; our plan is to move about 450,000 passengers daily after completing this project, and then we can increase later.
“The government is planning to deploy about 240 high capacity buses that will seat 42 people with others standing.
“The corridor spans through more than four local governments. The project will span through 14 kilometres from Oshodi to Abule-Egba.
“To ease traffic, more officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) have deployed to various portions of the expressway”, he said.
Motorists and residents of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway will have to brace up for the challenges ahead or use alternative routes.