In a note posted on its facebook page, the Lagos State government has estimated a total of N87 billion has been saved by removing six round-abouts along the Lekki-Epe expressway. Six roundabouts were removed including Ikate, Chisco, Jakande, Igbo Efon, Chevron and Victoria Garden City (VGC).
The affected roundabouts were replaced with traffic lights, expansion of the roads and provision of dedicated turning lanes as well as additional lay-bys. The contract was awarded to Planet Projects Limited.
How were the cost savings arrived at ?
It claimed the estimates were arrived at by construction company Planet Projects who conducted a report of the Junction Improvement Works on the road.
According to them, the it previously took about 2 hours to travel between the Abraham Adesanya Junction and Lekki Toll gates when the roundabouts were in place. However, since the removal it has now dropped to 30 minutes resulting in a reduction in journey time by one and half hours journey time.
The now assumed this reduces fuel consumption for an estimated 60,487 vehicles plying the road daily, amounting to N240 million daily, or N87 billion annually.
Other likely benefits
Less time spent in traffic, means less wear and tear on vehicles. This in turn reduces the amount spent on vehicle maintenance. The reduction in travel time, also has a positive impact on health of motorists who ply the road, which leaves them more productive as they would spend less on healthcare. Improved healthcare, means fewer man hours spent away from work. This in turn, benefits the state’s economy.
While the estimated savings are commendable, the government did not disclose how much it cost to remove the roundabouts. Despite the removal of the round abouts, the road remains heavily congested. One would have expected that the state government would do its own independent analysis, rather than rely on estimates by the contractor, which could have an element of bias.
More needs to be done
Removing the round abouts, does not address the core problem: The Lekki-Epe expressway is often congested, because it is the only entry and exit route for thousands of residents who stay there. Mega projects springing up on that axis such as the Dangote refinery, mean the same issue could crop up in a few years time.
The government clearly needs to develop other options such as rail and marine transport to ease the pressure on the road.
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