Commuters on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were on Sunday stranded for several hours as a fallen container on the Long Bridge caused gridlock on the road.
It was gathered that the driver of a containerised truck moving outward Lagos lost control on the bridge around 3pm and the container fell and blocked the entire outward lane of the road, causing gridlock for vehicles going out of Lagos.
However, some impatient motorists drove against the traffic and blocked the Lagos-bound vehicles.
Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps were on the ground to control traffic flow.
Our correspondent learnt that the container was later moved to one side of the road around 6pm by the response teams, but the backlog of traffic was slowly easing as of 8pm.
A motorist, Simeon Akpanyi, who lamented the many hours he spent in the traffic, blamed the contractor handling the reconstruction of the road, Julius Berger Plc, for the slow pace of work on the road.
He said, “I got to the Kara area around 3pm and met the traffic around Channels Road, I spent almost 20 minutes without any movement, so I had to take the alternative route, heading for Fatgbems, and spent another 20 minutes there, till I was able to follow the earth road down to Mikano.
“It was at Mikano that I discovered that there was a fallen containerised truck that barricaded the road and disrupted movement. I noticed a towing truck moving towards the scene, but as of the time I left there, the container had not been lifted off the road.
“The traffic I experienced today is unwarranted, but as a result of panic driving, impatience on the side of the drivers by driving against traffic, there was traffic on both sides of the expressway.
“One of the issues we deal with on this Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is the slow pace of work by Julius Berger; we expected that by this time, they should have finished the work they are doing between Arepo and Wawa, which is taking almost forever. I normally spend 10 minutes from Berger to Arepo whenever there is no traffic, but today (Sunday), I spent over two and half hours on that stretch and it shouldn’t be.”
Another motorist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told our correspondent that he was weak by the time he got to his destination as a result of the traffic.
He stated, “There was an accident on the Long Bridge, where a container fell on the road, and it caused a backlog of traffic from Berger, but when we got to Fatgbems, we had to follow the untarred road till we got to Arepo. We spent about 40 minutes on the earth road.
“The traffic caused a lot of weakness to my body by the time I got to where I was going and I even got there late as a result of the traffic.”
A passenger, who was travelling from Akure to Lagos, James Famori, lamented how the traffic disrupted his plans to get to his destination early.
He said, “We met the traffic before Ibafo and it was at a standstill for one hour before it started moving at a slow pace. I had the intention of getting to Lagos early to rest and prepare for work tomorrow (Monday), but it truncated my plans when we met the traffic on the road.
“We spent about four hours in the traffic before we were able to get out of it. The traffic stressed a whole lot of us in the bus, because it was sunny and getting stuck in the traffic was just unbearable, but we thank God that we were able to get out of it; it was when we got to the Long Bridge that we discovered that it was a container that fell on the road that caused the traffic.”
Confirming the incident, the Ogun State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Ahmed Umar, said the container was pushed to the side pending the arrival of a crane that would take it off the road.
He stated, “There was a lone accident involving a containerised truck; the accident was caused by excess speed on the part of the driver, who lost control and blocked the road outward Lagos. It is a fully laden container and it’s causing a lot of obstruction.
“The drivers of these trucks enjoy excess speed and they are causing a lot of unrest and obstruction, and it is indeed a quite worrisome situation, but we have been able to get partial clearance of the obstruction and vehicles are now passing.
“We are still on the operation of the total clearance but in the meantime, we have created an alternative road for drivers and the container has been pushed to the side pending the arrival of the crane to remove it from the road and it is based on this that we are going to sustain our operation against the menace of these articulated vehicles and containers. Anybody involved in excess speed will be dealt with.”