Millions of residents of Lagos, particularly those on the outskirts of the metropolis towards the West- Badagry, Okokomaiko, Iyana Iba, Ajangbadi, Alaba International, Agboju, Amuwo Odofin, Satellite and Festac Towns among other adjourning settlements, are beginning to raise concern over the delay and slow pace of construction works on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway project.
The job was initially estimated to be completed within five years at the cost of N220billion.
Almost four years after the take-off of the reconstruction and expansion of this all-important road from its present four lanes to ten which elicited jubilations, the excitement has waned.
Of course, more than any other project embarked upon by Lagos State in the last 13 years of Nigeria’s democratic path, and perhaps any to be undertaken before the exit of the current administration in 2015, the Lagos-Badagry project is the most ambitious.
This is arguably so because factored into this huge project are light rail (referred to as Blue Line) and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with combined capacities to move millions of passengers much safer, faster and cheaper compared to what currently obtains on the road where the operators of the unregulated yellow commercial buses have enthroned the culture of impunity.
However, works on the project has since slowed down and the initial hope raised among motorists, commuters, residents, artisans, and businesses seems to be fading away. Of particular concern to these stakeholders is the absence of contractors on site from Orile towards Mile 2 (which falls under Lot 1 of the project).
Julius Berger, which handles this section of the road, is no longer seen on site unlike in the past when the construction giant drew the commendation of every passer-by for the speed and dexterity with which job was approached.
CityFile observes that apart from the rail project which is still ongoing, nothing practical in terms of road construction is happening at the Orile-Iganmu end of the road, where grasses are fast sprouting on some sections of the road.
On Lot 2 of the multi-billion naira road project- starting from Mile near Maza-Maza towards Agbara, which was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), works have remained slow. Aside from clearing of sites, laying of concrete bricks for gutters and heaps of sand, not much progress is has been made.