The Federal Government has reopened the Kara Bridge axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
The re-opening of the road began at about 9:00 am on Sunday and has brought about an easier flow of traffic on the highway which has otherwise been notorious for serious traffic jams since the commencement of the reconstruction.
It had been partially closed in September when the reconstruction work commenced and traffic was diverted on both sides of the expressway.
The State FRSC Commander, Clement Oladele stated that the Injured victims were rushed to the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu, for treatment, while the corpses of the dead victims were deposited at the hospital’s morgue.
While the true cause of the incident is yet to be ascertained, Oladele noted that it may have been as a result of over speeding.
He commiserated with the victims and enjoined members of the public whose relations travelled in the Ill-fated crash to contact the FRSC Command in Sagamu or the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu, for further details.
The sector commander also reiterated the need for motorists to drive cautiously within the recommended speed of 50 kilometers per hour at construction sites.
Kuti affirmed that construction work had been completed on that part of the road inbound Lagos, but the government has decided to suspend construction work on the highway outbound Lagos.
He explained that if work was allowed to go on, it would affect the movement of travellers during the period and they would not like to leave it halfway.
The government official added that contractors would return to the site in January and immediately commence construction work on the other side of the road.
Motorists on the highway can now heave a sigh of relief with the opening of the road after almost three months since it was partially closed.
It has been a tough situation since September 2 for Nigerians living after the Kara Bridge axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway going inwards Lagos as they are made to face traffic which sometimes lasts a few hours.
The partial closure was initially scheduled to begin on August 3 but it was postponed by one month for Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the construction company handling the project, to commence work.
Upon the closure, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) advised travellers to take the Lagos-Abeokuta and Ikorodu-Sagamu highways as alternative routes while the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority LASTMA released a traffic advisory for motorists plying the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The completion of the reconstruction of the Kara/Berger axis of the Lagos Ibadan expressway has suffered a setback.
With the commencement of the reconstruction work in September, it was billed to be completed by mid-December but it appears that may no longer be feasible.
The inbound Lagos lane had been shut down over the last couple of months, while the outbound lane had been split to accommodate vehicles commuting in and out of the state.
Both lanes ought to have been fully reconstructed and reopened by December but the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos State, Adedamola Kuti, told Channels Television that the delay has been partly because of the rainy season.
Consequently, road users have been forced bear the brunt as they spend long hours in traffic.
Mr Kuti, however, says, “We hope that we are already getting to the end of the rainy season, so if it continues like that, we should be able to complete the inbound Lagos and at the end of the day, once it is completed, rather than putting our people under serious stress, we will open both lanes because by then we will be entering into the Christmas season so we will open both lanes and allow the traffic to run”.
According to him, hopefully by January 2020, the rains would have subsided and the construction of the second half of the road can be completed.
“By January next year, we will come back and work on the outbound Lagos”.
Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Adedamola Kuti told Channels Television that as soon as the diversion is completed, the road construction will commence.
“We are starting from towards the end of the Bridge.
“Those who are leaving Lagos, we will restrict them to their lane while those who are coming into Lagos, we will move them to the inner-bound lane after which we can now secure the construction zone,” he said.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) had earlier on Sunday announced that due to the reconstruction work, movement from Kara Bridge inward Berger would be sealed off while traffic would be diverted into the other part of the road going out of Lagos.
A travel advisory was also released to ease movement for those who will be plying the road.
LASTMA noted that the road would be divided into two lanes, both ways and traffic would be divided back to the road going inward Lagos at Berger intersection which links River Valley Estate.
It, however, announced alternative routes for road users travelling in and out of Lagos, urging them to take advantage of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway from/to Abeokuta, connecting from/to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Other routes recommended by the agency are Sagamu-Ikorodu Road from/to Sagamu connecting through Sagamu Interchange from/to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, as well as Ijebu-Ode – Itoikin Road from/to Ijebu-Ode connecting from/to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The Police in Ogun said it has rescued seven people abducted by gunmen along the Ajebo axis of the Lagos/ Ibadan expressway, during aerial surveillance and tactical deployment of men.
According to the commissioner of police, Ogun state command, Bashir Makama, one of the suspects was arrested during a raid conducted around the area in connection with the kidnap of the victims.
“The last two was really not reported but by the time the onslaught started, we were able to rescue them and as such the seven of them were rescued on the 26th, so it was a 3-day intensive search we conducted in that bush and in the process, one of the suspected kidnappers was arrested.”
“This is to inform the motoring public that Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, currently rehabilitating the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway, would be temporarily closing only the Ibadan bound carriageway from Magboro to Kara and Ibafo, scheduled to commence from Wednesday 22 May 2019 and reopened on Friday 24 May 2019.
“The temporary closure is to lay a section of 400m of wearing asphaltic surface on the affected section of the corridor.
“The closure would not affect traffic inbound Lagos around the affected road, but would narrow the carriageway which is expected to build up traffic around the mentioned sections,” the statement read in part.
The FRSC Sector Commander Clement Oladele therefore advised motorists to note the occurrence and plan their trips, while those using the corridor within the period should obey all traffic rules and regulations, including refraining from driving against traffic, as violators are liable to be apprehended for dangerous driving which attracts the fines of fifty thousand naira (N50,000) and impoundment of the erring vehicle .
The FRSC working with sister traffic agencies will maintain visibility to ease the traffic discomfort the temporary closure of that section of the corridor would cause.