The Federal Government has said all diversions around construction zones on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be opened to motorists from December 15.
The Director of the Federal Highways, South-West, Mr Funso Adebiyi, made this known on Monday during his interaction with truck drivers in Ogere, Ogun State.
He said the decision was to ensure free flow of traffic during the Christmas period, adding that work would resume after the season.
“We are going to open the entire road by the time Christmas approaches to enhance traffic flow,” he said.
Adebiyi said about 65 kilometres of the road had been completed; 20 kilometres on Section 1 from the Old Toll Gate to Sagamu interchange being handled by Julius Berger and 45 kilometres on Section 2, from the interchange to Ibadan being handled by the RCC.
The director also ordered truck drivers to either relocate or move backwards by at least 50 metres from the construction zone.
According to him, the activities of the truck drivers have made the reconstruction of some sections of the road almost impossible.
Addressing stakeholders including truck owners/drivers’ associations, law enforcement agencies and traditional rulers, Adebiyi said the appeal to the truck drivers became necessary as the Federal Government believed that it would be more effective than applying force.
“Government can use force but when we relate as brothers, it is better for us,” he said.
He stated that the RCC had suspended work around Ogere due to the presence of articulated vehicles parked illegally on the highway.
He said, “We started work from Ibadan and got to Ogere and your trucks are parked there. We had to suspend work but the truck drivers are there illegally.
“This entire country is like a construction zone right now but if we do not have access to the site to do this work, the South-West loses out because the money will be channelled into other things.”
Adebiyi said the construction around the Ogun/Oyo axis had been challenging due to the recklessness of drivers, adding that two engineers recently lost their lives on one of the sites.
He said the contractor on that section of the road would work on the access road to the truck parks around Ogere to enable drivers to move their vehicles away from the road.
The Ogun Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Clement Oladele, said the corps was ready to apply force if the truck drivers failed to obey the directives.