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The backbreaking and nightmarish logjam is back on the Lekki-Ajah roundabout, four months after the Lagos State government commissioned the Ajah Jubilee flyover bridge.
The re-engineering of the expansive roundabouts along the Lekki-Epe expressway corridor coupled with the construction of the flyover bridge at the Ajah roundabout was hailed as an innovative solution to the intractable logjam experienced in the area.
Many residents living in the Lekki-Ajah corridors heap praises of commendation to the governor for the restructuring of the road that has seen a drastic reduction in congestion on the busy highway.
However, in recent weeks, there appears to be a gradual return of the nearly forgotten old era, where commuters spend hours in traffic at the roundabout, especially Badore inbound and outbound commuters.
Despite the massive infrastructural renewal, traffic on the Badore-Ado road has remained a centre of chaos, especially during peak periods. It takes between two to four hours sometimes to drive through the less than five kilometres access route from the Ajah roundabout into Badore, when the god of traffic ‘smiles’ on that area.
This is particularly taking its toll on road users, who are daily lamenting its effect on their work and business. According to Calistus Nwankwo, a resident of Badore for 16 years, he has resorted to abandoning his car during weekdays to lengthen his lifespan.
“The quality of living determines the length of life, but it is not so for many Lagosians, especially residents of NEPA Road, Olayinka Atiku Street and Kazeem Oyofo Street in Ajah. We cannot boldly say our lifestyle, in view of our immediate environment can guarantee length of life. This is because the horror of commuting in and out of our houses is killing.”
The residents blame the closure of NEPA Road, a major commercial road, which is parallel to the Jubilee Bridge, but leads to power installations, private residential estates, hospitals, Fire Service Station, and connects the Kazeem Oyifo and Olayinka Atiku streets to other major investments within the Badore area, as the cause for the congestion experienced in the area. They say if the road is open to link the Lekki-Epe expressway, it would serve as a useful alternative to the burdened roundabout.
A community leader, Francis Okoye, said their lives have become stressful since the road was blocked immediately the new bridge was opened.
“Interestingly, NEPA Road served as the only alternative route out of Ado-Badore Road when the bridge was under construction. With the situation, several estates have been shutout and forced to make use of the only access route in and out of Badore, which has led to the congestion of the roundabout.
“Most worrisome is the potential health, security and safety hazards in the event of an emergency like medical, fire outbreak or robbery. It is impossible for a fire truck to enter in the event of fire outbreak, almost impossible for an ambulance to enter and navigate through the road and obviously, no means of escape for us if there is a robbery situation. It only takes the assailants to block the entrance. The entire residents of the community thus live in perpetual anxiety.”
A business owner, Elijah Adejimi, laments that due to the inactivity of the road, illegal traders, okada riders and tricycle operators have taken over, leading to a gradual degradation of the stretch of the road, which has become a dumpsite and poses serious health risks. “Sadly, this is what is visible from the top of the Jubilee Bridge. An eyesore, most unbefitting an infrastructure worth the Jubilee Bridge.”
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