Weekly Trust : 2020-08-01

News | Around & About : 12 : 12

News | Around & About

12 news Saturday, August 1, 2020 AROUND&ABOUT Lagosians groan as Third Mainland Bridge closes for repairs deployed to the roads. We have deployed motorcycle­s patrolling the roads to help avert criminal acts. There is no cause for alarm as we are still monitoring and intensifyi­ng surveillan­ce around the areas and other parts of Lagos,” he assured. To mitigate the effects of the closure, the Lagos sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ogungbemid­e Olusegun, said, “Despite the alternativ­e routes, many people still ply the Third Mainland Bridge, especially now that the traffic is heading towards the Mainland. The alternativ­e routes are there and traffic is heavy, but our men are there to assist. “When we had our meeting, it was concluded that we should still allow members of the public to use the Third Mainland at peak periods. So, between 12 midnight and 1pm, all vehicles heading towards the Lagos Island have unhindered access to the bridge. Between 1pm and 12midnight, those who are going to the Mainland from the Island also have unhindered access to the bridge. We have made provisions for 70 to 80 per cent of the normal number of vehicles that ply the bridge. “Naturally, the gridlock on the bridge is high at the peak period. It is not out of place to advise road users to make use of the waterways and make use of BRT buses, rather than everyone using their vehicles at the same time, in order to reduce the volume of traffic.” Olusegun pleaded with motorists to cooperate with the officials who are assisting them navigate the routes. “We are on top of the situation. People should understand and endure as it is a situation that will end after six months. All we need is their collaborat­ion and understand­ing,” he said. The Lagos State Government has also assured residents of minimal burden during the closure period. Governor Babajide SanwoOlu appealed to residents to exercise patience and bear the discomfort that would be experience­d during the period. The closure, he said, was inevitable, following physical deteriorat­ion observed on the structure after an integrity test conducted by the Federal Government. He admitted that the closure would bring pain, but noted that the developmen­t was necessary to prevent any disaster that may result from the total collapse of the infrastruc­ture. He also promised that men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would constantly be on the road with their federal counterpar­ts to ensure a seamless movement of vehicles. “The state government has carried out improvemen­t work on alternativ­e routes mapped out for diversions,” he said. Cont’d from page 11 At the time, the policemen had started barricadin­g the road. They were doing their own and asking uncooperat­ive drivers to park at Iyana-Oworo bus stop. At Iyana-Oworo, there was no other commercial vehicle and Uber/ Taxify were not working, so I had to sit at Iyana-Oworo bus stop till Tuesday morning. I eventually got a vehicle to Oshodi at 4am. That was my first experience. It was crazy,” he lamented. Mr Quadri said the “nasty” experience continued on Wednesday as he spent over three hours in traffic after close of work. “Our experience­s in the traffic here can lead to depression if allowed to continue. The repair should have been done during the total lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic,’’ he added. He advised the government to create more awareness about Lagos ferry operations, and urged traffic officers to do more work in managing the traffic. He also stressed the need to open up more alternativ­e channels and make the people to be aware of the channels. “With the partial closure, most commuters still go through the horrifying traffic, and that is happening because nobody sees any alternativ­e to that bridge,” he said. Another Lagos resident living on the Mainland and working on the Island, who gave his name simply as Gboyega, said, “I don’t think this is the best time to renovate the bridge because the alternativ­e routes are only 20 per cent ready. Unlike Ikorodu road, which is relatively on the FadeyiOjue­lagba-Stadium, inward Island, the bridge that links to the Island has been on lockdown from Alaka bridge since February. The ongoing constructi­on of the Eko bridge at the Costain end has been stopped without completing the second side. Costain and Oyingbo are the alternativ­e routes to the Island and there is always traffic there,” he lamented. He advised that an urgent action be taken on the Alaka/ Costain bridge, adding that the trailers/tankers parking on the road to Apapa should be relocated to ease traffic. In addition to the pain caused by the hours spent in traffic daily, motorists also have traffic robbers to contend with. Sharing his experience on how the closure has affected the security situation in the state, a resident, Mr Kayode Alade, said, “As expected, the closure of the bridge has put more pressure on vehicular movement along Ikorodu road. Last Sunday night was one of horror. There was a heavy traffic and we had spent hours on the road. At Alaka, Surulere, on Funso Willams Avenue, from the other side of the road, about 12 men marched towards the traffic. By then, our snail speed movement had come to a standstill. In a jiffy, they struck. They took on the vehicles randomly. They didn’t plead with motorists to wind down glasses or surrender keys. They helped themselves by smashing the glasses with hammer and glittering cutlasses. The exercise lasted for few minutes, but they left many families in tears. A young couple were not so lucky. They were not killed but the operation left their one-and--half-year-old baby in distress. At a tender age, the small girl saw guns pointed at her parents as she woke up with the noise of the smashed glasses. While other victims were counting their losses, a few of us moved towards the distressed family to help. There were particles of glasses on the body of the innocent girl. A young man who struggled with the bad boys escaped death by the whiskers. He struggled with the guys and escaped, leaving his ‘visitors’ in the car and the engine running. In a few seconds, he returned to face them. According to him, he didn’t know they had guns and thought he could overpower them with help from some of us. Of course, they welcomed him with guns and pounced on him. The man holding the gun was persuaded by others not to shoot. They left with his wallet, phones and other gadgets. At the end, five vehicles were vandalised on the spot. Many victims lost wrist watches, gold accessorie­s, phones, wallets containing Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and identity cards and cash.” Motorists have been blaming both the state and federal government­s for not being proactive enough to foresee the security threat that could come with the new traffic regime. When contacted on the security situation, the police public relations officer, Lagos State command, Superinten­dent Bala Elkana, told Daily Trust Saturday that the police had deployed massively to the Third Mainland Bridge and alternativ­e routes. He also noted that the police were working closely with its sister agencies to manage the situation. “We also have surveillan­ce patrol men in plain clothes I don’t think this is the best time to renovate the bridge because the alternativ­e routes are only 20 per cent ready

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