There’s this pedestrian bridge at Onipanu Bus Station. onipanu  pedestrian bridge

This is the hardest part of my daily commute to work. It’s a nightmare in daytime for me as I leave home very early with an empty stomach just to get to work on time.

Pedestrians are advised not to cross the Ikorodu Expressway for their own safety, but we are now subjected to this daily torture (compulsory 5-min workout) to get to the other side.

So this morning I consciously made some observations as I walked across the bridge. It has 47 risers to the top, broken in the middle by a 2-meter landing, treads are about 230 mm (which is even below the standard for a private, low-traffic residential house).

As soon as I got to the office, I proceeded to do a quick sketch of a section through the stairs.

section sketch

Now, as young and physically fit as I am, I complain about this bridge. Every time I’m on it, I’m always thinking about how not to slip on the worn out concrete edges of the treads – that would be disastrous. I’m wondering how the seniors (aged) feel. I see them on the bridge, and even though I’m hurrying to get to work before 8 am, I try to imagine how painful their 15 to 20 minutes plus on this bridge will be.. . Yes it takes them that long!

There’s this intense strain in your legs that you experience climbing up, a little relief at the top as you try to recover , taking baby steps, then the extremely CAUTIOUS descent on the other side, all this while minding the ant-like organisation of to and fro pedestrian traffic on the bridge. people just like you (rushing off to work).

We should be grateful we even have a pedestrian bridge at Onipanu, not all bus stops have one. And there are some that are worse. . >>> Ojota Bus Station. Ojota adds a little bit more to this problem. It’s steeper and it’s built like a building with massive concrete and almost completely covered on the sides so imagine what that looks like at night and how ‘SAFE’ that is. God help you if there’s no light (. . .like there ever is). I’ll document some of my observations on that when next I’m on it.

I’m just wondering if there was any thought at all during the design of this bridge. Wait, was there even a design? Who designed it? What parameters were considered? What of the disabled – Is there an air craft or subway to cater for them as this option is clearly not for them?

Okay, let’s take for granted that it was well designed but the building contractor messed it up, producing substandard work (happens a lot over here), wasn’t there any kind of inspection? Was there any assessment?

Who is even supposed to take observation of these things?

Does the government even assess any of their projects for quality and functionality, before issuing million-naira checks for Commissioning these ‘white-elephants’?

Maybe the Commissioner for Works & Housing had a meeting with the Commissioner for Health and concluded this as a good measure to keep Lagosians body weights in check. [pun intended]

Am I the only one who thinks something is not right with this.

I’d like to know what you think.

    2 replies to "Nightmare at Dawn – Onipanu Bus Station"

    • laoluadek

      its a terrible bridge, its the same thing i was telling someone yesterday, even though im not an engineer, i can imagine how older people feel, thats why people cross directly under it even though there’s a bridge

      • atmokupe

        You’re absolutely right! As an architect, I just naturally observe a lot of anomalies in our built environment but this one, everyone can see..it’s so glaring that something is wrong, even to the unschooled. Because as long as you are human, you can feel it!

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