More tales of woe on the Badagry ‘road to hell’
The excruciating anguish of commuters on the international superhighway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, continued yesterday as more motorists bared their pains to The Guardian.
Mr. Ade Olopade had left home around 7a.m. to take another route when he was warned by a friend who had been stuck on the road since 5:30a.m to consider taking an alternative route. Without prompting, he made a detour by traveling through Sango-Ota from Agbara to get to mainland Lagos rather than face the horror of long hours in traffic.
Not the best of choices to make considering the long distance route, but it saved Olopade the boding headache of meandering through the spot regular users had renamed the ‘road to hell’. “At the end, I was happy with myself for not inflicting too much stress on the car. And my heart pulse did not miss a beat for fear of getting stuck in the valley of horror,” he said.
A motorcyclist, Mr. Vincent Agwu, said there is nothing much to say. “Looking at the road, you will see that it is in a very bad shape. Even the blind can see that the road is bad. When trucks find it difficult passing through the road, it shows you the great risk motorists with small cars take to pass through here. I have lost count of the number of times containers and trailers have falling into the ditch.”
For Moses Agwu, it is a case of one man’s meat being another man’s poison. “I use to wander around Alaba Market as an Alabaru until I was invited to this road by some boys, who told me there is work to do here.
“We resume here everyday to push damaged vehicle out of the way for other road users to pass. And we are always busy, especially when it rains. Depending on the bargaining power, we sometimes charge between N3,000 to N10,000 for small cars. We push them to safe distance and adjourning streets before LASTMA officials raid the area with their towing vans.”
It is the same situation for Ms. Christiana, who sells motor spare parts in the area. With a smile on her face, she told The Guardian that the bad condition of the road favours her because drivers of most vehicles that breakdown on the spot patronizes her for spare parts to fix their cars.
“Recently, I had to engage the services of two mechanics who are always available on request at my shop to help stranded motorists, whose mechanics are far away from here. Inspite of the booming business, we are also experiencing the pain too because it is a big problem coming to work and going back home.”
The over 55-year-old and about 60 kilometres expressway is one amongst the several Federal Government cum international roads in the country that connects several West African countries and a major artery for the transportation of goods into and out of the country.
It was euphoria that trailed the announcement of its reconstruction and expansion to a 10-lane dual carriageway with light rail public transport on the median and a Bus Rapid Transit System during the Babatunde Fashola administration. But the snail speed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Company that ensured motorists would wait a longer while before their present pain will recede.