By Kunle Adedoyin
The Federal Government has allayed fears of residents and motorists on the stability of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, assuring that it is strong and safe.
This is coming against the backdrop of the trending video on the failure of the bridge.
Adaramola Kuti, Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, at a joint press conference addressed with the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye and the state Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Fredrick Oladeinde, dismissed the video as old and urged Lagosians to ignore it.
He said that the bridge was not meant to be static and that is why it has expansion joints, which will be replaced at the appropriate time.
Kuti also revealed that all the expansion joints on the bridge had been replaced and the bridge pavement resurfaced without shutting it down.
Kuti said the Federal Government has no plan to shut down the Third Mainland Bridge for rehabilitation before the end of this year.
“We want to assure Lagosians that the Third Mainland Bridge is free, it is safe and we are not unmindful of the pains that Lagosians are currently going through with the rehabilitation work going on Lagos/Ibadan Expressway Way and Lagos/ Badagry Expressway.
“So, there is no way we will close the Third Mainland Bridge at this critical period,” he said.
Kuti said for the repairs on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, the construction work on the Kara to Berger portion of the road would be completed and the entire bridge would be reopened to traffic on December 15 this year, regretting that heavy downpours this year slowed down the pace of work on the ever-busy expressway.
“Though the rains did not allow us to work at a planned speed, but once we finish the construction work inbound Lagos from Kara, we will not close the other end of the road as planned before. We will open both sides of the road by December 15 this year so that people can enjoy free flow of traffic, especially during the Yuletide. We will resume work on the other side in January,” he said.
Kuti also assured Lagosians of the speedy completion of the rehabilitation work on the failed portions of both sides of Eko Bridge, stressing that the rehabilitation work on the bridge will end in December 14, 2019 with minimal effect on traffic as work has started at the Apongbon end.
He allayed the fear of residents that the Eko Bridge would be shut down as a result of the ongoing rehabilitation work, noting that rehabilitation work was meant to replace the flexible pavement of about 150 metres failed portion with rigid pavement to put the incessant failure of the portions to an end.
Oladeinde, who urged road users to obey traffic rules, said that officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), special task force and other security agencies have been mobilised to enforce the law.