By Olasunkanmi Akoni
MOTORISTS and residents navigating the Oshodi-Apapa and Badagry Lakes highways were stranded yesterday as a result of failed roads caused by persistent flooding and rain in the state.
Motorists lamented the perennial stagnation on the axle, attributing it to negligence on the part of the federal and state governments.
The situation appeared to have overwhelmed members of the state police command, the Presidential Task Force, as well as the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, deployed to manage and control traffic on the axis while observing the chaotic situation amid intermittent rains.
Motorists were seen stranded for several hours in a traffic jam that was compounded by the influx of tank trucks and containers.
Traffic stretched from the Cele bus stop along Oshodi-Apapa to the end of the Mile-2 highway, while also affecting the Badagry Lakes highway from Alakija to the end of Mile-2.
In the chaos that followed around the axle, several vehicles were caught in the flood around the bad part of the road, while the criminals did vigorous business by helping victims get their vehicles out of the danger zone in exchange for a negotiated rate.
The current situation was further aggravated by heavy axle flooding as a result of persistent rain in the state that made both sides of the road impassable for motorists.
The four-lane road has been reduced to a single lane for all types of vehicles in an attempt to avoid wide potholes in flood-covered roads.
The drainage system does not work either, since they have been obstructed with various impediments, preventing the free flow of rainwater.
Wrong way responsible for the bottleneck
A LASTMA official who spoke to In confidence, he said: “Monday’s congestion is the result of the bad portion on both sides of the Lagos-Badagry highway, along with a high level of flooding due to persistent rain.
“Motorists have to drive smoothly to get through the flood and pass the failed portion of the road to avoid the incidence of downed vehicles. We were told that the Lagos state government announced plans to rehabilitate the bad portions, but they have not yet mobilized contractors to repair them.
However, the palliative work done through the stone base to fill the bad parts of the road has been eroded by heavy rain since last week.
“What we are trying to do is make sure that there is no broken down vehicle to completely block the road. The situation is really causing us concern and hectic time. ”
Government keeps mom
When contacted, the Public Affairs Officer of the Lagos State Public Works Corporations, LSPWC, Mr. Gani Lawal, whose agency is in charge of road rehabilitation, addressed the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure for a response.
Lawal said: “It is not within our reach, the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure will be the appropriate source.”
But efforts to contact the Governor’s Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Ms. Aramide Adeyoye, for the reaction, were ignored.
Several calls and messages sent to your phone were not answered.