….Lists alternative routes and calls for patience and understating of road users
The Federal Government has announced the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, Nigeria, from Friday, July 24, 2020 to January 24, 2021 for repairs.
The Federal Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola announced this on Tuesday, during a Press briefing to the nation on Government’s plans of assuaging the pains the closure would cause the over 132,702 light and vehicles that ply that route on a daily basis.
Fashola during the Press briefing also announced alternatives routes: Costain, Ebute-Metta and Ijora as road users could use during the period of the repair.
He also called for patience and understanding of road users adding that it was well-meaning Nigerians who drew the attention of the government to the bridge, through comments and videos, pointing out that, the maintenance was a direct response to those calls, which is what governance was all about.
Fashola explained: “The Bridge is 11.8km; we are closing 3.5km so it is a partial and not a total closure.” He said that the Third Mainland Bridge was conceived in 1970 as a result of rapid modernisation of Lagos and that the construction work of the bridge spanned over three decades and was done during the oil boom, pointing out that the need for maintenance of the bridge was inherited by the current administration.
According to Fashola, the Federal Government had so far intervened on thirty–seven bridges across the country, maintaining that Lagos has the highest number of bridges. He further said that the work on the Lagos Mainland Bridge is a collaborative effort between the Federal and Lagos State Governments.
He commended the commitment of the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari in the maintenance of the nation’s infrastructure nationwide.
Acknowledging the pains the closure may cause, Fashola called road users to be patient as the construction works last. “The best will happen if we all show understanding, restraint and patience, because we will have a better and safer bridge in a short while to come,”he said.
In his presentation, the Director of Highways Bridges and Design, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye stated that the Third Mainland Bridge which is about 11.8 km long links Lagos Island to the Mainland and it is the busiest bridge in Nigeria with a daily average of traffic count of 132,702.
Explaining further, he stated that the bridge provided the most direct route for commercial and industrial traffic leaving Lagos Island to other parts of the country and vice versa, pointing out that, it was necessary to always ensure regular maintenance to keep it in a serviceable state.
“The periodic maintenance of the bridge was carried out in 2008, 2012, 2018 respectively and the present maintenance was a continuation of the process” he said
On his part, the Director of Highways South-West, Engr. Adedamola Kuti said that the bridge would be partially closed for six months and that the partial closure would be in two phases to ensure operational efficiency. He said alternative routes have been provided to ease traffic flow during the maintenance work on the bridge.
Accordingly, he explained that the two phases would be sub-divided into morning and afternoon traffic to minimize disruption of traffic during peak hours which are mainly from the Mainland to the Island in the morning and a return traffic in the evening from the Mainland to Island.
He further disclosed that during the phase one, the Mainland bound carriage way would be partially closed to traffic from Adeniji-Adele up to the Ebute-Meta axis and that of phase two, the partial closure would be from the Ebute-Meta axis of the Island bound carriage way to the Adeniji-Adele axis.
Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Boboye Oyeyemi, who also spoke during the briefing said that “The partial closure has therefore placed the Corps in a position to provide strategic plan that will ameliorate the envisioned traffic situation the closure is certain to throw up,”
He said the Corps has deployed massive personnel and logistics to guide and administer road traffic within the six months of the closure, adding that the Corps had commenced publicizing alternative routes to the teeming road users.