Motorists on the ever-busy Lagos-Badagry expressway are complaining about perennial traffic gridlock on the road as reconstruction and expansion work appears to have slowed down.
A correspondent who visited the site reports that various construction activities such as excavations and construction of drainage had stopped midway.
Activities of work on the project site has reduced considerably, leading to traffic gridlock as many excavated parts of the road have been abandoned.
This has increased hardship faced by motorists and commuters on the road.
It was observed that the first and second sections of the road, spanning from Orille to Festac Third Gate at Alakija, have been completed and opened for use.
Yusuf Sani, a road user, complained about the loss of man hour on the road.
“I have been on this spot for more than two hours and losing so much valuable time because of the work here.
“It would be more effective if the construction company can device means to effectively control the traffic while they continue their work,” he said.
Dele Abbas, another road user, also complained about the gridlock.
“Expanding this road is a good idea but the suffering is becoming unbearable, even when we leave home early we still experience the go slow.
“The construction company and the Lagos State Government should take urgent steps to stop this suffering,” he said.
Mrs Taiwo Alabi, advised the contractor to increase the pace of the work to ensure that the project ends and delivered on schedule.
“My advice is that the contractors should take full advantage of the absence of heavy rains to make considerable progress on this road so that this gridlock will abate,” she said.
An official of China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC), the project contractors, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the work on the road had slowed down due to shortage of funds.
“The work is no longer progressing because the Lagos State Government has refused to make payments for quite sometime now.
“It is even surprising because money is not supposed to pose any problem for this work. A loan was secured and should be readily available, but I do not understand what the state government is doing.
“Our presence on the road now is just for some skeletal jobs because we cannot just pull out completely, but more than 80 per cent of the workforce has been disengaged due to the situation.
“This will most likely extend the job beyond the 2019 completion date,” he said.
However, Mr Ade Akinsanya, the Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, said that the project was on course.
He said that the plan was to open up the completed portions of the road for use by motorists before moving to continue work on the outstanding portions.
“We observed that parts of the completed portion of that road was being mishandled by some residents who have started turning them into markets and some other uses
”We want to open those portions up for the use of motorists to protect them from such encroachments before moving to other outstanding portions of the road, and that would happen very soon,” he said.
Akinsanya said that the issue of indebtedness to CCECC did not arise because the process of valuation, which preceds payment, was on going.