By Kazeem Akande/Augusta Uchediunor
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on Wednesday warned that the gridlocks created by trucks and articulated vehicles on bridges in Lagos were dangerous and had damaging effects.
Mr Hyginus Omeje, the Lagos State Sector Commander of the FRSC, made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Omeje spoke against the backdrop of the recurring gridlock on the Apapa Road bridge taking traffic to the tank farms in the area.
“We are sitting on a keg of gun powder because the bridges are weakening on a daily basis as tankers, trucks and articulated vehicles are parked on top of them, due to traffic congestion.
“When these vehicles are stationary on the bridges for a long time, they have a negative impact, including deterioration, bridge-fatigue, damage or even collapse; moreover, there is no money anywhere now to build these kind of solid bridges again.
“The Ijora, Eko, Carter and Third Mainland bridges are expensive projects that require huge capital to execute.
“So, it is urgent that we do whatever we need to do, to preserve these bridges, so as to make them last longer.’’
The sector commander said that the primary mandate of the corps was to ensure that all routes were safe for motorists.
According to him, the lingering gridlocks in Apapa are as a result of many factors.
“The issue of Apapa traffic congestion is multi-faceted; you cannot address the gridlocks in the area without addressing the state of the roads.
“These gridlocks cannot be controlled without proper road rehabilitation in the area.
“There is need to speedily work on the road network there, as well as the drains,’’ he said.
Omeje, however, said that efforts were underway to rehabilitate the roads.
“Some weeks ago, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three companies that are willing to put the Port Access Roads in Apapa in good shape.
“We are talking of the Dangote Group, the Flour Mills and the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA); they are coming together to take up the rehabilitation of the roads from the Police Area `B’ Command, the former Nigeria Airways building and Eleganza, into Apapa.
“They want to rehabilitate those segments of the road network in Apapa, as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),’’ Omeje said.
The FRSC boss added that the corps had also commenced a special traffic control exercise in Apapa, to curb the lingering traffic challenges in the area.