BY: MIKE OCHONMA
Following Lagos state’s response to repeated public outcry from motorists along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway (LBE) corridor, the on-going road expansion and modernisation project handled by the Chinese Civil Engineering & Construction Corporation (CCECC) is now progressing intensively.
BusinessDay findings this week Monday reveals that CCECC is carrying out intensive project work in front of the International trade fair complex popularly referred to as ‘under bridge’ considered by motorists as the major critical spot with high human and vehicular traffic. This is primarily due to the high volume of economic activities inside the trade fair complex.
In recent times, the LBE has come under spotlight as a result of long period of abandonment by the immediate past government which attracted public condemnation because of the sufferings of that commuters face daily in their daily economic activities due to perennial traffic.
The deplorable condition of the Lagos Badagry expressway has in the past five years frustrated many workers living along the corridor and working at the other extremes of Lagos to seek temporary places of residence during the week, only to return back to their family houses at weekends.
Hotel operators along the axis have also seen their occupancy rates go up due to the high demand for temporary accommodation by many companies operating along the corridor for their top management staff as well as increased patronage from other business travellers using the ECOWAS gateway.
On many occasions, the issue of security have remained a major problem as there is little or no police presence or routine and random security patrol at some of these blackspots whenever there is traffic. Within this vicinity, there is the Ojo military cantonment, the police Area E command in Festac, the Satellite town police station, Trade fair police and the Police station in front of the military cantonment Ojo, yet road users have remained at the mercy of criminals.
There have been many cases of robbery especially at nights with the flashpoints at the Alakija bus stop exits points into Festac and Satellite towns from Mile due to the gridlocks as a result of slow pace of work caused by the complexities of the project being experienced by the contractors handling the road project.
Last month, Obafemi Hamzat, the deputy governor, while speaking during the kick-off of reconstruction at the Trade Fair complex located along the LBE corridor, said the exercise was in fulfilment of the promise made June 2 by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
He stressed that the work by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd (CCECC) would start on Segment 2 of Lot 2 of the road from the Agboju-Trade Fair complex axis which measures approximately 4.6 kilometres. He said the move is to alleviate the suffering of motorists and improve economic activities in that area.
Hamzat, while appreciating the co-operation of the Federal Government towards the project, disclosed that the reconstruction would be completed before the end of the year.He urged residents and motorists to obey traffic rules while palliatives are undertaken to ease stress of those staying within Okokomaiko and its environs, adding that a task force would be deployed to maintain decorum.
The international gateway was conceptualised by the Lagos state government in 1974 and constructed by the Federal Government in 1977 when the idea of having a highway to connect the sub-region was agreed upon at an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit.
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