Workers stranded as Lagos-Ibadan road gridlock worsens

Some Lagos State workers  were forced to return home on Wednesday after the gridlock on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway took a turn for the worse.

The gridlock, which affected the two lanes of the road, led to a standstill of vehicular movement for many hours.

Some commuters, who became frustrated with the situation, disembarked from commercial vehicles and trekked to their destinations.

Others, however, returned home.

PUNCH Metro gathered that several breakdowns of trucks at various sections of the expressway and a truck accident at the Kara end of the road compounded the gridlock.

The lone accident, which happened around 6.30am, was reportedly caused by a yet-to-be-identified driver, who lost control of the truck while at top speed.

The truck was said to have crashed into a barricade at the point where the road was diverted due to ongoing construction works.

It was learnt that the gridlock that resulted from the accident stretched from Berger to the Asese end of the expressway for motorists inbound Lagos, while vehicles en route to Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced gridlock from Berger to the Kara end of the road.

While speaking to PUNCH Metro, some commuters lamented spending hours in the gridlock on a journey that usually lasted minutes.

A civil servant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she was forced to go back home when she noticed that the journey was not making any progress.

She said, “I got to Magboro bus stop around 7am and boarded a bus going to the Lagos secretariat for N500. I did not get to Arepo until around 9.30am. When I discovered the pace at which the vehicle was moving, I felt discouraged because I knew I won’t get to work until afternoon. So, I decided to disembark and return home.”

A motorist, who identified himself simply as Mr Adesuwa, said he wasted productive hours in the gridlock, urging the Federal Government to hasten contractors working on the road.

He said, “I left my house around Ago-Igbala, Ibafo, for Victoria Island around 5am, but I did not get to the Long Bridge at Warewa until around 12.35pm.

“I have wasted the day inside this traffic and I don’t even know when I will get to the office. I cannot even turn back if I want to do so because everywhere is blocked.

“We want the Federal Government to hasten Julius Berger to finish this construction in time. We are suffering on this road and it’s not good for our health.”

Another worker, Mr Adeola Aderibigbe, said he aborted his journey after confirming through a phone application, Google Map, that there was gridlock on the expressway.

A trader, Toyosi Omoboriowo, said, “When I saw that time had gone, I had to disembark from the bus and return home because I did not know the time I would get to Idumota to buy my goods. A day cannot go by without gridlock on this road. The government should pity people living on this axis because this gridlock is getting too much for us.”

The Ogun State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Clement Oladele, said the corps and other emergency management agencies attended to the breakdowns on the road.

He said, “Multiple breakdowns of trucks at different locations on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway resulted in gridlock on some sections of the expressway.

“The most pronounced of the breakdowns occurred with an overloaded truck travelling on speed out of Lagos conveying a container, but lost control around the Kara Bridge and crossed the road divider, blocking traffic on both sections of the expressway, impairing traffic into and out of Lagos.

“The gridlock stretched from the Kara Bridge towards Ibafo near Mowe and the same situation also affected traffic outward Lagos. The FRSC was assisted by sister traffic, security and emergency agencies to recover the trucks from the road.”

Meanwhile, two accidents also occurred in the Ketu and Mangoro, Ikeja areas, causing gridlock that prolonged the journey of motorists and commuters plying the affected routes.

At the accident scene in Mangoro, PUNCH Metro gathered that a Chinese construction company’s truck driver, Philip Patrick, while driving at top speed collided with two trucks belonging to the Dangote company and the Lagos State Waste Management Authority.

According to the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Patrick, who was trapped after the accident, was rescued, stabilised and taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, for treatment.

He said, “The CCECC truck driver, Philip Patrick, was the only injured victim. The accident was caused  by speeding and loss of concentration. Patrick was eventually extricated, treated and stabilised by LASAMBUS officials before he was taken to LASUTH for further treatment.”

In the Ketu area, it was learnt that an articulated truck laden with 20 ton pellets of metal had failed brakes and crashed into the median, spilling its content on the street.

Vehicular movements in the area were said to have been affected, just as emergency responders intervened.

LASEMA said no life was lost in the incident.


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