Over 500 potholes on Ikeja roads, Public Works appeals for patience

This is Isolo road, Mushin. Photo. Idowu Ogunleye

File: Pothole on solo road in Mushin area of Lagos

PWC’s General Manager, Olufemi Daramola: calls for patience

Motorists in Lagos are going through agony on roads in the metropolis as many are replete with potholes, making driving one hell of a nightmare especially when it is raining.

P.M.NEWS counted over 500 potholes in Ikeja, the capital since Monday, with Oba Akran Road, Ikosi Road, Obafemi Awolowo Road, Akilo Road, Opebi-Allen Road the worst hit.

With what the newspaper’s monitors saw on the ground, the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration would need to reconstruct a good number of the roads.

Akilo, Ikosi and Oba Akran roads, for instance, have totally collapsed and no palliative will ever solve the sorry state.

There are 130 potholes found on Oba Akran Road, which is the main artery of the Industrial hub for the state. Akilo nearby has 55 potholes and Ikosi 48.

Toyin Street and Billings Way are also bad, riddled with many potholes and creating traffic snarls. Lateef Jakande Road in Agidingbi also needs a major overhaul. The newspaper counted over 20 potholes. Obafemi Awolowo Road that takes its root from the seat of government in Alausa has fallen into disrepair as well. A physical count gives as many as 36 potholes.

“What the potholes do is that they slow down traffic especially at peak periods”, said a motorist in Ikeja.

Despite the mounting concerns of the residents, the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, PWC, has appealed for patience.

PWC’s General Manager, Olufemi Daramola told newsmen during an interaction on Wednesday that the corporation had moved out in full gear to address the potholes in the state, saying that the rainy season was impeding progress of work.

According to him, the dilapidation on Lagos roads ranged from potholes to craters, saying that government had put machinery in place to solve the problems, but noted that there were challenges in tackling the menace.

He said on coming on board in June, the agency discovered that the asphalt plants in Imota, Badagry and Ojodu were not operating at optimal level due to neglect. He said some of the problems have been fixed and that the plants now operate at 50 percent level.

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Daramola said the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was determined to solve the problem of road dilapidation as the level of decay met on ground was very unpleasant.

He stated that the agency had identified challenges in different Local Governments and that the findings include discovery of numerous potholes and total road failure that needed rehabilitation rather than patching.

Daramola said the weather had been a major problem impeding the repairs of the roads, adding that in the nearest future, the agency would prepare adequately for the rainy season.

The PWC boss also said that the agency was experiencing the challenge of drainage failure in some areas which impeded road rehabilitation, citing areas such as Ikorodu Road and Mile 12, where the drainages needed to be worked on before any meaningful road rehabilitation could be done.

He agreed that roads, such as Oba Akran needed total rehabilitation rather than patching, adding that any work done on the road now would be a waste as the rain would spoil it due to poor drainage network.

Daramola also mentioned Ahmadu Bello Way, Old Ojo Road and Mba Cardoso Road, as among roads that needed total rehabilitation, but added that government wanted the Office of Drainage Services to desilt the drains before any meaningful rehabilitation could be carried out.

“Some of these roads need total rehabilitation, but the drainages need to be taken care of. Government has taken the issue of drainage seriously and it will be done. When we get to the dry season, work will move at a faster pace.

Director, Civil, PWC, Engr. Olayinka Abdul disclosed that in June alone, the corporation worked on 90 roads within the Lagos metropolis, adding that the corporation was working day and night to ensure that the roads are motorable.

According to her, the current administration met the roads already in bad state, but that the governor is ever determined to ensure things returned to normal by giving the corporation the mandate to fix the roads, adding that “we are working on the roads with the best of our ability and once the rains subside, we will embark on a more serious rehabilitation of roads.

“We have deployed our equipment but rain has made it cumbersome for us. We appeal to Lagosians to give us time as we are doing everything possible to fix the roads,” she said.

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