As reconstruction and expansion works on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway progress, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr. Adedamola Kuti, has warned motorists plying the ever busy expressway to drive with caution around construction sections to avoid gridlock and accidents on the road.
Making the appeal at the completed section of the dual carriageway by MFM Camp ground as part of project monitoring, Kuti said the portion which falls under Section 1 of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, is the busiest road in Nigeria and Africa because of the huge traffic volume.
The controller who said they came around to explain to Nigerians the situation around the construction zones, added that the traffic volume usually gets lighter after the Sagamu Interchange, insisting that impatience of road users is usually responsible for the gridlock people experience around the construction zones.
Blaming road users for their impatience, the controller said if every motorist exercises patience and allows the person before him to go first, and in that order, everybody will go. But a situation where everybody wants to go at the same time through one narrow diversion, everybody will get stuck, and this results to gridlock.
"Also, those who drive against traffic are not helping matters. In fact, they worsen the situation because they block access of those who are coming from the opposite direction thereby causing confusion on the road."
Kuti who disclosed that the reconstruction works on section 1 of the expressway has recorded about 40 per cent, said the completion date of section 1 was last year reviewed up to 2021 to accommodate additions to the original design, pointing out that construction giant, Julius Berger, handling the project is on the ground to ensure speedy completion.
He disclosed that the Federal Government has set aside special funding under the National Sovereign Investment Fund to ensure that funding would not be a problem to the timely delivery of the project.
The Sector Commander, FRSC Ogun State, Mr Clement Oladele, said indiscipline and age of vehicles plying the road are the major problems on the highway.
"In Ogun State, most of the 272 deaths recorded last year were at construction zones. Majority of vehicles around such zones are trucks and because most of them are not well maintained, they have the tendency to break down. It happens in other parts of the road but why Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is more challenging is because of the higher number of vehicles," he said.
The Regional Manager for Julius Berger, Thomas Balzuweit, said a robust system had been put in place to control traffic as a key consideration while executing the project.
"This is an extremely busy part of the road. We are constantly reviewing the situation on this road and the effectiveness of our traffic control system and we will continue to do so. We are going to implement more measures but we need the cooperation of road users, it requires everybody to work together," he said.