Fed Govt removes barriers on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway construction site
One of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project.
The ministry apparently took the action to facilitate better flow of vehicular traffic, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
NAN also reports that workmen used heavy duty equipment to remove crash barriers and other diversion points for free flow of traffic on the OPIC U-Turn section of the highway.
The removal is a relief for motorists plying the axis, who sometimes spend four to five hours in gridlock due to the ongoing construction.
Supervising the re-opening around OPIC, the Director of Federal Highways for Southwest, Mr. Adedamola Kuti, said the Federal Government earlier promised to re-open the highway to traffic on Thursday but brought it forward to ease gridlock.
Kuti said because of the festive season, all obstructions on Section One, which spans Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu interchange, were being removed yesterday.
“As part of our Ember-Months programme, there was an announcement we made that all barriers at road construction sites will be removed by December 15 to allow for free movement this season.
“So, on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project, we have already attained a level to which we can allow those barriers to be removed.
“So, rather than wait till Thursday, December 15, just as we did at the other section from Old Toll Gate up till Otedola Bridge, which we opened to traffic last week, we have also completed this stretch up to the level where we can allow movement,” he said.
Kuti explained that all construction would also be halted on Section Two of the project, which spans Sagamu Interchange to Ojoo in Ibadan on Thursday, to further boost movement ahead of the Yuletide.
The director said contractors would return to site in January to complete the project, adding that the Federal Ministry of Works was targeting delivery by first quarter of 2023.
He said some unforeseen circumstances including heavy rainfall slowed down construction hence the new targeted delivery date in 2023.
Kiti said the police and traffic regulatory agencies would take over the highway and thanked motorists for their patience during period of construction.
Ogun State Police Commissioner Lanre Bankole assured all those plying the road of tight security on the highway.
The police chief said the free flow of traffic would tame crime and criminality on the highway.
He added that highway trading, which worsens the gridlock, would also end.
“The opening of the road would certainly ameliorate the security situation in this area. Hawkers will not have any place any longer,” Bankole said.
The Zonal Commanding Officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), in charge of Lagos and Ogun states, Assistant Corps Marshal Peter Kibo said the removal of the barriers was in anticipation of heavy traffic ahead of Christmas.
“We thank God. Today, Julius Berger decided to open this place, even before the day that we planned, that is 15th of this month, by the Federal Ministry of Works.
“So, this is a great achievement and a great relief for us and the motoring public. And we will continue to manage the road and traffic very well,” he said.
Kibo urged motorists to drive safely, observe speed limits and avoid reckless driving.
The zonal commanding officer said officers would enforce the laws to ensure that people arrive their destinations safely.
Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) Commander Adeloye Babatunde, who represented his boss, Corps Commander and Chief Executive Officer Olaseni Ogunyeni, assured all of synergy with other agencies to ensure hitch-free travels.