Again, Thousands Stranded in Gridlock On Abuja-Keffi Road As FG Closes Ado Bridge For Repairs

By ABAH ADAH, Abuja

Thousands of commuters are stranded on the Abuja-Keffi ExpressWay on Sunday as the Federal Government closed a section of the major Ado Bridge, which is between One-Man Village and New Nyanya, for repairs to avert its collapse.

A team of engineers was drafted to the bridge to fix the worn-out expansion joints.

Motorists who were embarking on early Sunday trips to various parts of the Northern and Eastern parts of the country were held up in long queues of up to ten kilometres in the scorching heat of the sun.

Apart from the long distant travellers, members of various churches especially Living Faith, otherwise known as Winners Chapel could not access the road to their churches due to the blockade of the bridge against the traffic. 

Some commuters who spoke to our correspondent said they had spent more than three hours in the gridlock without hope and are already thinking of cancelling their journey due to uncertainty on when the repair works would be completed.

Meanwhile, adequate security has been put in place by both plain and uniformed policemen to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the gridlock against the stranded passengers.

One of the security operatives who did not want his name mentioned told newsmen that information on the bridge closure had been on for the past week adding that no one is expected to be caught unaware.

“This repair work must be carried out before the coming rainy season otherwise, anything can happen if not done before the rain begins, he said.

The commercial motorcycle riders, otherwise known as Okada operators, are however seen cashing in on the development as they were making brisk business off desperate passengers.

A drop on Okada which used to cost only N100 now attracts between N300 and N500, making many to resort to trekking several kilometres.

Penultimate Saturday, road users experienced same traffic nightmare along that corridor on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway when the attempt was first made to carry out the repairs.

The ensuing traffic quagmire made many who were plying the road by commercial vehicles to disembark and resort to trekking as both sides of the dual carriageway were completely blocked.

 Most of the motorists who were locked in condemned the move saying it was ill-timed, even as some flayed government for not providing a bypass before embarking on such repairs, given the magnitude of traffic experienced along that corridor on a daily basis.

One of the engineers who did not give his name however explained that what they were doing was in the best interest of the public as it is to prevent the bridges along that corridor whose joints have worn out from collapse, and as if to add salt to injury, he said the road would not even be opened immediately after the repair untill after about four weeks when it would have dried enough.


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