The importance of a pedestrian bridge to the lives of people in a metropolis like Lagos cannot be overemphasised. It is an important statement of fact. The infrastructural development going on in the city spearheaded by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration is widely acclaimed among states in the federation.
In the week gone by, New Telegraph observed that pedestrians have abandoned the bridge at Fadeyi bus-stop along Ikorodu road and have resorted to selfhelp by crossing the very long and ever busy express way. The axis also links some institutions like Yaba College of Technology, University of Lagos and other public schools within the area.
However, the bridge is in total disrepair.
The stairs are blocked due to wear and rust of the broken parts. While walking on it, it vibrates under the feet. Grace Ijato, an elderly woman, sitting under the bridge, waiting to cross the road, said: “Most of the children in this area normally trek down to Fadeyi busstop, where there is a pedestrian bridge to cross the road while the senior citizens have no choice other than to exercise patience and look at the road cautiously before crossing.”
She stated that the distance to Fadeyi Bridge is too far for the elderly ones of that area. She, however, called on the Lagos State government to come to their aid by replacing the damaged bridge with a new one. She pointed out that the expressway is ???? too wide for people to cross because of the fast moving vehicles.
Another respondent, Seun, an instrumentalist, who crossed the expressway told New Telegraph that “it is faster for me to cross the express than to walk down to use the next pedestrian bridge.” He confessed that though it is not safe but since the bridge is in a bad shape, “I had to resort to using the expressway.”
An interesting scene, New Telegraph witnessed was that of a man and a woman who struggled with loads on their heads and had to cross the expressway half way because the vehicles did not slow down, in spite of hands lifted up as a sign of pleading with the motorists.
Speaking with New Telegraph, another man responded that there is no bridge working here. “The bridge here is in bad condition and they have warned us not to use it.
If you go close to the bridge, you will discover that the stairs have been blocked because of the wear and rust of the broken parts.” A woman stressed that it is not convenient for someone to walk down to the next bridge before crossing, especially someone that just came down from the bus and you can see where you’re going in front of you. They both called on the government to do something about the present situation of the bridge to avoid unwanted loss of lives.
Some students of the University of Lagos claimed they preferred to cross the expressway because the bridge is bad. They stated that the bridge has been in a bad shape for a very long while and nothing has been done about it. Mrs. Temitope Onanuga, a roadside trader, said: “The Bridge has been bad for more than a year, though they came to repair it some time ago but it got spoilt again.”
She pleaded with the state government to fix it urgently for the sake of school children. Some of the traders told New Telegraph that the contract for the bridge was given to someone before. But the contractor, they alleged, did not carry out major repair on the bridge.
Rather, he repainted it. “If you go close, you’ll see that the base is rusted and broken. We thank God that no life has been lost ever since.”
They also pleaded with the Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to help them fix the bridge appropriately. Kingsley Ihenyen, a Councillorship aspirant, Fadeyi-Shomolu Local Council Development Area stated: “The government came to check it last year because of pupils and students using the area.
There has been too much occurrence of accidents.” He suggested that if they can fix the bridge before the local government election, it would be better for them. “I think they should just renovate the bridge for now and later on they can replace it.”
According to him, the community has written a letter since last year. “There are many schools around here. By the way, Fadeyi bus-stop is the last bus stop for BRT Buses. As such, it will be too dangerous for people to use the bridge like that.
It is also more dangerous to cross the expressway. Sometimes, you will see women with baby strapped on their backs while they hold another child by hand and want to cross the expressway. This situation is absolutely risky.” He stated.