• Saturday, June 15, 2024
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Relief on the way for motorists as Lekki-Epe Expressway completion nears

Relief on the way for motorists as Lekki-Epe Expressway completion nears

Barring unforeseen circumstances, by the turn of the next three months or less, motorists, residents, businesses and sundry commuters on Lekki-Epe Expressway will heave a sigh of relief as the on-going reconstruction work on the expressway will be completed then.

Craneburg Construction Company, the contractor handling the reconstruction of the 49.5-kilometre expressway, disclosed this to BusinessDay reporters who were on tour of the entire stretch of the expressway recently, focusing on the reconstruction sites.

It was observed that the portion of the expressway from Eleko junction up to Life Spring School had been paved, complete with median demarcation and walkways on both sides—inbound and outbound. The work is a solid concrete surfacing that has almost one-foot thickness.

“We have our target to finish this work latest by January next year and our destination is Ajah along the expressway where the work will terminate,” one of the site workers told our reporters at Sangotedo where work was really heavy and unnerving.

Read also: Lagos to knock off more roundabouts on Lekki-Epe Expressway 

The site worker, who did not want to disclose his name, was quite optimistic that the work would be completed as scheduled, hinging his hope on the fact that Lagos State government, which is undertaking the project, was prepared to see the work done by the first month of next year.

Contractor assures reconstruction work to end January 2024

“We as contractors are working; we have almost all our materials ready; the state government is also ready and they have people who are ready to lend helping hand if for any reason the government is handicapped financially. In short, there is nothing to worry about,” the site worker assured.

A major challenge for the construction workers which, obviously, is impacting on the pace of work, is gridlock which is an understatement to describe the slow traffic occasioned by reconstruction work and the poor state of the road.

Even with the two lanes open, the expressway has been notorious for its terrible traffic situation. Now that all vehicles, moving like slow flood, have been confined to a narrow, dilapidated single service lane, the expressway has become a highway to hell.

Read also: Avoiding heartache on the Lekki-Epe Expressway

For four whole hours, motorists are held in traffic between Awoyaya and Sangotedo. No one lane, inbound or outbound, is better than the other, making driving experience a horrying nightmare.

“This is what we see here every day. In the morning, to escape it and be able to reach your office early, you need to leave your house by 4am or earlier. Coming back, you spend almost the entire night here,” a resident who introduced himself simply as Michael told our reporters.

Michael has his office in Lekki Phase 1, but has decided, according to him, to go to the office just twice in a week. “The rest of the days I work from home. Today is one of such days I work from home. I hope you guys will let the government know what we are going through here so they can hasten this work; residents are dying and so are businesses,” he lamented.

Ejiofor, a business man whose building materials shop is just a few meters away from the construction site at Ogidan Sangotedo, spoke to our reporters in tears, saying that in the last six months when the construction work came to meet them there, he has not recorded any major sales.

“It has been tough; no sales and yet we pay rent and levies to the government; bills are piling and there are school fees to pay, yet we are not making sales,” he said mournfully.

Read also: The Lekki-Epe expressway

Reminded that the reconstruction of the expressway was in everybody’s interest with its long-term benefit for all including businesses, Ejiofor agreed that the work was good, but pleaded that government should talk to the contractor to increase his speed of work to end the suffering on the expressway.

From Eleko junction to Dangote Refinery and the Lekki Port, the road is still a bit of a challenge, but the good news is that the reconstruction of the road was upbeat when BusinessDay visited the site.

Hitech Engineering, the contractor handling the road, was on ground. According to a site worker who spoke to our reporters, the work which had passed Dangote Refinery gate started seven kilometers away, revealing that their destination was Eleko junction.

“We started this work last year and I think it will be completed next year. I cannot say exactly when because I was not there when they signed the papers. I am just a site worker here,” he said jokingly.