#BounceExclusive: Sorrow & Smiles - Tales From Lagos-Abeokuta Highway
Tope Abdulkareem lives in the Shasha area of Lagos state and works with a fast food joint at Berger on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
She leaves home for work every day at around 7am, and gets to the office in an hour.
The return journey takes a little longer but she still gets home in good time to the warm welcome of her family.
But all this changed a year 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 chaotic gridlock.
Some of the users who spoke to Bounce News said the ongoing project is making life unbearable.
They also expressed worry over the reduction of the expressway from four 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 motorists from Egbeda, Dopemu, Ikotun, Ijegun and other areas struggle to enter the highway.
A commercial bus driver simply known as Jasper, who plies the Iyana Ipaja-Oshodi route, complained about the traffic especially at peak periods.
The road don dey very bad and e dey cause serious traffic, he lamented.
He appealed to the Lagos state government to help ease the stress they face.
Kemi, who works at the Computer Village and lives in Iyana Paja, lamented the increase in transport fare as a result of the bad road.
She said, "I usually take bike at Ikeja Along to Iyana-Paja for N200 but since the BRT lanes construction started about a year ago, the fare has increased to N500 especially during peak hours in the night."
'One's Man Meat Is Another's Poison'
While motorists are daily lamenting the traffic on the expressway, hawkers are ‘smiling to the bank’.
A sausage roll hawker, Gabriel said since the construction began, he has been getting a boost in sales.
He said even though he is not happy with state of the road and resulting traffic, but according to him, “one’s man meat is another man’s poison."
The federal government started the BRT lanes construction on the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway in 2017.
The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Monday inaugurated the rehabilitation of the road, with an inspection tour.
The Director, Federal Highways, South-West, Olalekan Busari, said the road had been neglected by previous administrations before it was re-awarded to Julius Berger.
According to him, the project is divided into two sections, the first of which starts from Ile Zik in Lagos, spanning about 20 kilometres, while the second section falls in Ogun State and covers 60km.
“It is a complete total rehabilitation of the entire road this time around, and it is awarded at 22.387 billion naira and the contract period is for two and half years, and we hope the contractor will actually deliver.
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