Managing Director of Planet Project Limited, Abiodun Otunola has stated that the ongoing redevelopment of roundabouts along the Lekki-Epe road by the Lagos State Government will save the state about $3 million a year when completed.
He stated this in a chat with newsmen during the test run of the redeveloped 4th and 5th roundabouts along the road.
According to him, “Our studies revealed that Lagos is losing $1 billion every to traffic every year. If we can get traffic to improve by 20 per cent we can unlock about $300 million of that back to the economy. In terms of man hour spent in traffic, in terms of cost of fuelling vehicles and even the cost of sleeping and waking up early to beat traffic. By the time we are through with the remodelling we would have improved the transport situation and enhance the state’s gross domestic products (GDP).
“We have about nine round about on this corridor and during the peak period it takes commuters over 30 minutes to cross each round about if you multiply that by nine you will see that you spend one hour from the first round about to Lekki phase one. The traffic is horrendous and unimaginable. So as a way of solving this problem the present administration decided to remove the roundabout. This is because based on studies that we have done the roundabout were the major cause of the problem. What we are doing now is what we called junction improvement.”
He added that part of the solution is to remove the roundabout and signalise the junction.
This, he added, is a solution that has been adopted all over the world stressing that, “If you notice, most of the cities of the world you will not find this kinds of roundabouts. In traffic engineering once your traffic gets up to 10, 000 vehicles per day the roundabout becomes inefficient. What we are doing now is a solution to take away the roundabout and provide pedestrian walkway.
“One of the problems was that there were a lot of interactions between the pedestrians and vehicles. We are providing three metres of pedestrian walkway to take that interaction away from the traffic. The reality is that we need to close the roundabouts completely, the work is about 85 per cent completed but in other for us to complete the work we needed to close the roundabout completely and open the middle of the road to traffic and complete all the side roads and complete the project.
The state’s Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Anofi Elegushi, who promised that the project will be completed in the first week of January 2017, noted the development will reduce travel time on the road, “and commercial vehicles will enough turnarounds and make more money.”
He said: “The state will save time, save money on fuelling vehicles and the state revenue will increase. We removed the roundabouts because we discovered that it has served its purpose. We then resolved to do traffic sharing and signalise it. From the simulation that we have done, we have seen that the traffic is now flowing very well. Simultaneously we are working on the 4th, 5th and the 8th roundabouts and in the 2017 budget we have provision for others too. This is the way to go.”