Lagos-Ibadan Expressway: JB to Close Kara Bridge for Four Months

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 Bennett Oghifo

Julius Berger (JB) Plc., the company reconstructing the Lagos-Sagamu interchange axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, has disclosed that it would close the two Lagos-bound lanes of the Kara (Ogun River) bridge for four months, spending two months on each lane, to enable it reconstruct the 600 metres stretch of the road between the Lagos-end of the bridge and Ojodu Berger.

The firm said it would take two months, beginning from next Saturday, to rehabilitate the Lagos-bound stretch of the 600 metres, and that once that is done, it would move to the Sagamu-bound lane for another two months, adding that work on the stretch would be completed on October 31.

Julius Berger Plc, therefore, advised people who do not need to drive on the bridge to re-route their movement, stating that motorists “in and out of Lagos from Benin-Ore road can use Ijebu Ode-Epe-Ajah road to Lagos route as well as Sagamu-Ikorodu-Lagos as alternative roads.

“Traffic in and out of Lagos from Abeokuta or Ibadan can use Ota-Itorin-Abeokuta road,” it said, adding that “traffic (cars only) from the old toll gate in Lagos inward Ojodu-Berger and Isheri Olowora can use Isheri feeder road after second Oando filling station.”

Also to be used by cars only, is “the acceleration road provided to connect Ojodu-Berger link road, before new garage bus stop; on the bus, use before Kara Bridge by NNPC filling station to connect Limpson road while Ojodu-Berger should be used by cars and trucks only; Omole Phase II Estate link road, Ikeja link road respectively.

“Traffic joining the expressway from Isheri Olowora can use the provided acceleration lines to join the narrow Sagamu-bound carriageway.”

However, for those who must use the bridge within the period, there will be a major diversion of Lagos-bound traffic from Ogun river bridge (Kara) to Berger (New garage bus stop) onto the Sagamu-bound carriageway and narrowing of both Lagos and Sagamu-bound traffic into two lanes on the Sagamu-bound carriageway respectively.

The developed Sagamu-bound carriageway, according to the project officials, would be divided using temporary crash barriers to provide two lanes each in both directions, while the Lagos-bound carriageway would be closed. In anticipation of how the development could impact on road users, Julius Berger officials assured Nigerians of measures being put in place to ameliorate the likely problems.

The officials said possible collision between moving vehicles, JBN vehicles and installed barriers as well as congestion due to heavy inflow of traffic during peak periods into Ojodu-Berger and Isheri as well as congestion due to narrowing of carriageway are likely during the period of the reconstruction works.

Congestion due to broken down vehicles/road traffic crash on the road and congestion due to heavy inflow of traffic in and out of Berger (Lagos) are also identified as likely.

However, the JB team in assuring Nigerians of measures to assuage the road users’ fear, said there would be display of advanced warning signs of road narrowing, speed restriction signs as well as making sure flagmen would be present. Flashing lights to be displayed at night time are also being planned.

They added that collaboration with relevant agencies, including the media for needed enlightenment, display of variable message signs in advance as well as providing emergency response crew on standby just as response time would be minimised by well-established lines of communication among the various agencies round the clock are central to the plan.

Also, the construction firm added that slipways would be provided on both sides of the carriageways around Ibafo community to take traffic inward Ibafo and bus stops off the narrowed sections.

The officials said there would be traffic signs, flashlights, dummy flag men, and traffic officials at strategic locations to guide motorists within the construction corridor.

They advised motorists to observe lane-discipline and to avoid driving against traffic, follow instructions and displayed directional signs and obey speed limit around construction areas of 50KMph; avoid indiscriminate parking and picking of passengers on the narrow sections of the expressway and diversions.