The Federal Government says it takes motorists about 20 minutes to drive through the traffic at the Kara-OPIC axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The Director, Federal Highway (South-West), Federal Ministry Of Works and Housing, Adedamola Kuti, made this known on Monday when he spoke as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily.
Motorists in the past weeks have spent hours in the traffic at the Kara axis of the busy road due to reconstruction works but the FG official described the gridlock at the section as “moving traffic”.
“As a matter of fact, that traffic on that stretch of Kara Bridge end, it will not extend more than 5km and 5km. If you do small arithmetics, you cannot exceed 15 to 20 minutes on that stretch. When you drive at 20km/hr on a stretch of 5km, within 20 minutes or thereabouts, you are out of that area,” he said.
He noted that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway “is about the busiest road in West Africa if not the whole of Africa” and the government has the mandate to complete the reconstruction of the section of the road before year-end.
Kuti listed man-made problems like driving against traffic, accidents, breakdown of vehicles, and downpour, amongst others as contributory factors for the gridlock.
“The maximum allowable speed is 30km/hr in a construction zone. Even if you are driving at 20km/hr and you have a 5km, within 15, 20 minutes, you are out of that place once there is no breakdown of vehicles; once there is no accident. Even if there is any accident or breakdown, we have tow vans to pull off but the problem has to do with those who cannot be patient enough; that is the issue,” Kuti added.
According to him, 37.5 kilometres of reconstruction have been completed from the Sagamu end of the expressway, noting that night work will start soon to hasten the project.
The official further said that the reconstruction of the road has not been suspended as work has resumed on Monday morning whilst traffic officers are on the ground to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.
“We have the presidential mandate to deliver the road before the end of this year,” Kuti noted, adding that 1.3 km of the road inbound to Lagos will be done within four to six weeks.
The official stressed that the government provided road diversions to ease the flow of traffic but earth roads are no alternative routes.