Monday, November 05, 2012

The 334th good thing about Lagos: road improvement

Although I would guess that we all enjoy roads that have been improved, but would agree that dealing with roads that are in the process of being improved is not anyone's idea of fun.  That's been the case with the busy road that runs in front of our apartment building.  They tore it up during the summer and are working on one side of the road at a time as they resurface and widen it.  It certainly needed to be worked on, but I wish they would just hurry up and get on with it.  Days go by without any sign of progress and I don't know if we will see the day when both sides of the road will be functional.  Roads are really horrible in much of Lagos, but I have seen some progress while we've been here.  The road to Lekki peninsula used to be a nightmare of traffic delays, but since it was finished and made a toll road, it is usually passable, though sometimes with delays at the toll plaza.  I recently read an interesting article at "Oyibosonline" which stated that there hadn't been any proper maintenance of roads in Lagos for the past three decades.  "The chairman of Nigerian Society of Engineers, stated that government at all levels must be blamed for the poor state of the nation’s road network because they (the government) keep awarding road construction contracts to quacks."  Witnessing the condition and constant deterioration of Lagos roads, I believe this.

 One day a few weeks ago, I looked out to the construction area outside our flat and saw that a big dump truck had driven right into the hole in the street.  I don't know if it was driven by a guy who was inexperienced with how a dump truck should actually dump its load of dirt, or just by someone who wasn't watching where they were going.  But it stayed stuck in this deep hole for almost two weeks.  I would occasionally see men out there looking at it, like they were trying to figure out how to get it out, or maybe they were just curious as I was as to how it ended up there.  I was disappointed when I drove by and saw that it was gone, because I wanted to see how they actually managed to pull it out.  But if this is indicative of the level of expertise of those working on the road, I don't hold out a lot of hope for it getting finished any time soon.  Still, road improvement is a good thing -- I keep telling myself....

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