Following the partial closure of the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge to give room for its anticipated repair, traffic congestion yesterday piled up on Ikorodu road , one of the routes billed to act as alternative route to the Lagos Island.
LEADERSHIP checks revealed that there was traffic snarl up on Ikorodu Road-Western Avenue-Lagos Island route the Ikorodu Road-Yaba- Oyingbo-Iddo-Lagos Island alternative routes fuelling the fear that today's traffic may be worse as more people hits the roads to the Island.
Motorists who spoke with our correspondent at separate interviews expressed concern over the traffic gridlock that would affect the routes when work begins today.
Mr. Chuka, a motorist said, "By tomorrow (today), only God knows how we are going to cope because it will be worse. This heavy traffic started all the way from Yaba, and on a Sunday we are still here. Government must be fully prepared to handle the situation or else it will be chaotic."
LEADERSHIP also observed that commuters who took the Bus Rapid Transit buses had a smooth ride to the Island, as the buses have dedicated routes plied only by the buses.
As a mark for full preparation for repair work, the contractors have moved their materials and equipment to site for full commencement of work .
Our correspondent observed that the bridge was yesterday closed partially from the Ebute-Metta interchange to Adeniji Adele, for the first phase repairs of the expansion joints, while the second phase which is on the Oworosoki bound will commence after the other part has been fixed.
Allaying the fears of motorists and commuters, the State Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, assured Lagosians of free vehicular movement, adding that the officials of the State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) had strategized traffic control measures that would ease vehicular movement on the bridge and alternative routes.
Opeifa maintained that the pains which Lagosians would experience during this period will be very minimal compared to that of 2008 when the same Bridge underwent repairs ,adding that many alternative routes to the Bridge that were not in good shape some years back had been constructed, with several others rehabilitated with the help of the State Public Works Corporation.
"This is not new. We have done it before in 2008, but now it will be better because the options are better with the construction of the other routes. The options are better as long as we drive safely and drive according to instructions," he added.
He urged motorists plying this route to always stay tuned to the Traffic Radio for timely update of traffic reports on and around the Third Mainland Bridge, emphasizing that the transportation that LASTMA officials and Police officers would be stationed at every point of diversion and interchange for adequate traffic control.