The Federal Controller of Works, Federal Ministry of Works, Mr. Olukayode Popoola, has insisted that the proposed closure of the Lagos Third Mainland Bridge for six months for repairs beginning midnight of July 24. 2020 is irreversible.
The announcement of the planned repairs last week, has generated mixed reactions from both motorists and commuters who feared untold hardship when the repair works begin
Popoola, who spoke during a press conference yesterday in Lagos, said the bridge was last rehabilitated in 2012 which is about eight years ago, saying there was urgent need to carry out the repairs to avert imminent collapse of the bridge.
According to him, the first three months would be used to carry out work on the part of the bridge coming from the Lagos Island to the Mainland.
On the other hands, he added that works on the other portion of the bridge coming from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island will begin three months later.
Popoola, also disclosed that the closure was necessary to carry out maintenance workers on the bridge in phases, added that the last time such exercise was conducted was in 2012.
“We don’t want the bridge to collapse. We want to replace all worn out components and joint. The maintenance of the Third Mainland Bridge is going to be carried out between Friday 24th July, 20202 and Sunday 24th January, 2021.
”Consequently, the bridge will be partially closed and there will be diversion of traffic from midnight to 1.00pm every day for movement from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island only on the Lagos Island bound lane; while from 1.00pm to midnight, Lagos Island to Oworonsoki traffic only on the Lagos Island bound lane. This will be in place for three months for the,repairs of the Oworonsoki bound lane.
“Motorists are advised to also ply the alternative routes of Carter Bridge through Iddo to Oyingbo to join Adekunleramp inward Oworonsoki or from Ijora through Western Avenue to Ikorodu Road.”.
Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, who also spoke during the conference said that motorists should ensure that traveling on the road with personal vehicle is absolutely necessary before embarking on such mission, saying that the government intend to make buses available to ease the situation on the people.
Oladeinde, who lamented that many trucks and other vehicles ply the roads with worthy and current documents said that henceforth, such vehicles would be impounded by relevant agencies.
“Trucks that are not roadworthy, the Vehicle Inspection Service department has started stopping trucks and checking whether they are road worthy or not, and if they are not, we confiscate that car.
“So I think we have confiscated over 90 between June and today. So we will continue to do that, we will have more VISon the roads to ensure that only road worthy trucks come into Lagos. We are doubling our efforts just to make sure that we don’t have any breakdown that would further cause congestion.
“The last time we did a traffic count, we had over 60,000 trips going from the Mainland to the Island, and those going on the other side is just about 20,000. It is a lot of traffic that goes to the Island in the morning and go back to the Mainland in the evening.
Sector Commander, Lagos State of the Federal Road Safety Commission, Mr. Olusegun Ogungbemide,who also spoke said: “the task we have before us is going to be a very big one, we cannot deny the fact that the demand is going to take a lot from us – the security agencies, the state and federal.
“The LASTMA, the Federal Road Safety Corp and other agencies that have to do with maintenance of traffic in Lagos State are well prepared and we have mapped out the deployment of our men. We have been having series of meetings in respect of this assignment.
“Most of the encounter we are going to have has to do with human errors, human misconducts, irrespective of how bad or the situations of the roads are, if they are not being well utilised, we are going to have this problem that we are going to encounter.
“Even when the road is good, the traffic situation in Lagos is enormous and the challenge is enormous. The major task will happen when the downpour is on and we have enough accessories, equipment that are already prepared for our operatives, that even under the downpour, we are going to be visible all over.
“So, I just want to plead with members of public that the issue of enforcement is going to be fully enphasised on, we are not going to compromise that, because we would anything that would create unnecessary pain for Lagosians. We have all agreed that this job has to be done and there is no alternative to it, we have to face it head-on.”, he concluded.