AROUND&ABOUT

Weekly Trust - - News | Around & About - From Chris­tiana T. Alabi and Risikat Ra­moni, La­gos

In La­gos State, residents com­mut­ing between the Is­land and Main­land have been ex­press­ing tales of agony since the par­tial clo­sure of the Third Main­land Bridge for main­te­nance on July 24, 2020.

The 11.8 kilo­me­tre bridge links key ends on the Main­land, like Yaba, Ikeja, Apapa-Oshodi ex­press­way, La­gos-Ibadan ex­press­way and many densely pop­u­lated ar­eas in the La­gos Is­land, Vic­to­ria Is­land, Ikoyi and Lekki, where multi-bil­lion naira busi­nesses are lo­cated. Traders and work­ers com­mute ev­ery­day from the Main­land to the Is­land, Ikoyi, Vic­to­ria Is­land and Lekki, to earn their liv­ing.

The first phase of the re­pair is fo­cus­ing on the Oworon­shoki end, in­ward La­gos Is­land in the morn­ing, with traf­fic di­ver­sion from 12 mid­night to 1pm, while there will be traf­fic di­ver­sion on La­gos Is­land in­ward Oworon­shoki from 1pm to 12am.

The La­gos State com­mis­sioner for trans­porta­tion, Dr Fred­eric Oladeinde, had an­nounced be­fore the re­pairs be­gan, that the state gov­ern­ment had done re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of al­ter­na­tive routes for mo­torists.

Oladeinde said Iddo in­wards Carter Bridge, Mar­ket Road in­wards Her­bert Ma­caulay Road and Her­bert Ma­caulay Road by Abeokuta Street, as well as the Her­bert Ma­caulay by Ceme­tery and Apapa Road in­wards Oy­ingbo had been fixed.

He ad­vised mo­torists head­ing to­wards Ikeja and Iko­rodu road from Os­borne Road, Ikoyi, in the morn­ing to make use of Carter Bridge to ac­cess Eko Bridge through Ijora Olopa. This, he said, would lead them through the Fun­sho Wil­liams Av­enue to Do­man Long Bridge to Iko­rodu, or to use Carter Bridge to Iddo through Oy­ingbo to Her­bert Ma­caulay and Ji­bowu to link Iko­rodu road.

Mo­torists com­ing from Vic­to­ria Is­land were ad­vised to utilise Ozumba Mbadiwe Road to the Falomo bridge, through Al­fred Re­wane Road to Old Kingsway Road, Os­borne, Ilu­birin and Carter Bridge.

An­other op­tion for mo­torists is to take Bonny Camp to In­de­pen­dence Bridge and to Ma­rina Bridge, through Apong­bon to Eko Bridge, Ijora Olopa, Iddo and Oy­ingbo. In the af­ter­noon, road users in­bound La­gos Is­land were ad­vised to use Ojota on Iko­rodu road to ac­cess Fun­sho Wil­liams Av­enue through Eko Bridge/Apong­bon axis, or to utilise Iko­rodu road to ac­cess Fadeyi/Ji­bowu/Yaba and link Oy­ingbo-Iddo to Carter Bridge.

“Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works are going on at the re­main­ing routes high­lighted for traf­fic di­ver­sions to en­hance free traf­fic flow along the cor­ri­dor dur­ing the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion,” Oladeinde noted, while ad­vis­ing mo­torists who did not have ur­gent as­sign­ments on the Is­land to avoid the area this pe­riod to dis­cour­age an in­flux of ve­hic­u­lar move­ments.

He also ad­vised com­muters to make use of wa­ter trans­porta­tion by link­ing up with the var­i­ous jet­ties in the me­trop­o­lis for their trips.

But com­muters com­plained that some of the al­ter­na­tive routes were not in good shape while re­pairs were on­go­ing on some. Our cor­re­spon­dent ob­served that some por­tions of the Iko­rodu road con­nect­ing Yaba from Mary­land, for in­stance, were char­ac­terised by large pot­holes, with the con­di­tion wors­ened by heavy down­pour, lead­ing to traf­fic jam.

Also, in March 2020, a sec­tion of Eko bridge, which is usu­ally the go-to al­ter­na­tive, was closed for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works on wornout bear­ings no­ticed between the

Alaka and Costain part, in­ward Apong­bon. About four months af­ter, the bridge is yet to be opened.

Residents who live on the Main­land but work or do busi­ness on the Is­land nar­rated that their com­mut­ing ex­pe­ri­ences had been trau­matic since the clo­sure of the bridge. They lamented that they had been spend­ing more time and money get­ting to their des­ti­na­tions due to heavy traf­fic.

Some residents, who said they could not bear the daily rigour of that traf­fic, have de­cided to tem­po­rar­ily re­lo­cate to the Is­land, where they work or do busi­ness, un­til the end of the main­te­nance work.

A tex­tile dealer at the Ba­lo­gun mar­ket on the La­gos Is­land, Mrs Fo­lashade Bello, pointed out that some of the in­ner streets that were made to serve the pur­pose of di­ver­sions were char­ac­terised by in­dis­crim­i­nate ve­hi­cle park­ing, locked gates and poor street light­ings, among oth­ers.

A res­i­dent of Oshodi, on the Main­land, Mr Su­laiman Quadri, on Mon­day, July 27, left his home for work at Lekki Phase 1, but lit­tle did he know that he would not re­turn home that day due to the grid­lock the clo­sure caused.

Quadri re­counted, “My first ex­pe­ri­ence was on the first work­ing day af­ter the clo­sure. It was on a Mon­day, and I will say it was hor­ri­ble. I had to do some ur­gent work in the of­fice that Mon­day and stay back till 9pm. I usu­ally take Uber or Tax­ify af­ter close of busi­ness, but on that day,

I was lost in the work I was do­ing, such that I never re­alised it was 9pm. When I wanted to or­der my ride, I got a no­ti­fi­ca­tion that Uber/ Tax­ify would close by 9pm, so I had no op­tion than to go in pub­lic trans­port.

“Ev­ery­thing looked nor­mal to me un­til I got to Ikoyi, where there was heavy traf­fic. I stopped and walked to Obal­ende, where I got an­other ve­hi­cle to Oshodi. The traf­fic from the Third Main­land Bridge was so se­ri­ous that it had ex­tended to Ikoyi. Un­for­tu­nately, the ve­hi­cle I boarded broke down on the bridge, and be­fore the driver could get some­one to as­sist him move it to Iyana-Oworo, it took some time and we got to IyanaO­woro by 11.30pm.

Some residents, who said they could not bear the daily rigour of that traf­fic, have de­cided to tem­po­rar­ily re­lo­cate to the Is­land, where they work or do busi­ness

Traf­fic grid­lock at Iddo to Otto area due to di­ver­sion of Traf­fic to re­duce traf­fic on third main­land bridge af­ter the par­tial clo­sure of the bridge in La­gos

Peo­ple trekking home at Eko bridge due to the par­tial clo­sure of Third Main­land bridge in La­gos

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