Enugu Residents Lament As Old Enugu-Onitsha Expressway Remains Shut After Completion
The old Enugu-Onitsha expressway, also known as the Milikin Hill road, has remained shut since June 7, 2018.
The road had been in very poor shape and had been a cause of several accidents that claimed several lives over the past few years.
But the road was closed to traffic for total rehabilitation, and investigation from our correspondent in Enugu showed that the rehabilitation works on the road has since been completed but it remains shut.
And the people are complaining.
*The state of the road before the rehabilitation
If you are wondering why road users are in a hurry to have the road reopened, the Milikin road is a very important alternative route linking Enugu city to the popular 9th mile.
A bus driver who plies from New Market to 9th Mile, Mr. Odinaka Abumchukwu told Bounce News that although the action of governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to close to road was commendable, he lamented that the closure of the road has increased the cost of his operations, as he now pays for more fuel for a short distant journey from Enugu to 9th mile.
“I am aware that the governor has helped to fix this road because it was really bad. But we now spend so much on fuel just to get to 9th mile because of the traffic congestion. So, we want the government to open the road to traffic,” he said.
Another road user, Mr Okechukwu who rides a tricycle popularly called Keke said that the road has reduced the patronage of keke because people now use alternative routes.
“The closure of this road has reduced my daily income. I am not happy that this road is closed but I am hoping it is reopened soon,” he said.
The closure of the road has also forced transporters to increase their fare by almost 50%.
A road user, who didn’t want to be named, said that commuters have been made to pay higher to get to 9th mile as bus drivers have increased their fare by almost 50%.
“I'm not against what the government is doing but they didn’t put enough palliative on ground to help the poor masses. Before now, we pay between 70-100 Naira to Ngwo and 9th Mile but now, we pay between 150-200 Naira and sometimes 250 Naira. Why must we suffer like this?” he lamented.
The road still awaits reopening but Bounce News' attempt to get the official reopening date from Enugu State Ministry of Works was unsuccessful. A government worker who preferred anonymity said the road could be opened before the end of July.
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