• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway: Respite underway as work on trailer park picks up

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Respite is underway for motorists and other road users as work is now moving progressively towards completion at the trailer park being constructed by the Federal Government opposite Tin Can Island Port on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos.

The trailer park, which is expected to take away from the expressway about 500 trailers and tankers, is being constructed by Borini Prono as part of the contract for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the expressway which it is handling separately with the construction giant, Julius Berger.

When BusinessDay visited the construction site at the weekend, it was discovered that the contractor has moved significantly away from what close watchers of the park construction had described as a ‘round-robin movement’, having achieved what could easily pass for over 80 percent completion.

“You know, sand miners took us to court when they were asked to move away from here, claiming that this is where they have their business and this has delayed our work here”, one of the workers told our correspondent, refusing to disclose his name because “I don’t know you”.

The worker also stated that there were some aspects of the construction that needed to be done in order to continue work on the park, citing the bridge that would lead trailers to the park as one of such preliminary construction work.

The bridge is meant to serve the park and will end into the park. All trucks coming into the park will have to turn from the Liverpool roundabout and climb the bridge into the park and this is so important that even if the park is ready, without the bridge it cannot function.

Apapa-Oshodi Expressway is one road that is as important as it is economically strategic, being a major gateway to Nigeria’s sea ports. Billions of government revenue comes from both the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports and regrettably this only major road leading to these revenue spinners is a pain in the neck for motorists.

The expressway has garnered notoriety for its crippling traffic jam that keeps motorists for hours during which period they navigate through tankers and trailers mindlessly and indiscriminately parked on the NANexpressway by their drivers.

In 2010, it took a sustained media campaign to draw the attention of both Lagos State government and Federal Government’s attention to the expressway, leading to the award of contract in November 2010 for the on-going reconstruction and rehabilitation work.

Motorists and other road users, including Apapa residents, port operators see the present efforts as a positive development that would change a lot of things on that axis.

Emma Ameke, a port operator, however, has his reservations on how far government can go with the project, saying, “For me, it remains a wait and see game; until we see tankers off the expressway and people’s consignments leave the ports without difficulty, much still hangs in the air”.

Chuka Uroko