By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Federal Government said the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State will begins from Friday midnight .
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced this at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday .
Fashola said the Bridge which is 11.8Km, “we are closing 3.5Km so it is a partial and not a total closure”.
He stated that between 2015 and 2019, the government undertook a survey of all the bridges in Nigeria to determine their conditions and the urgency of repairs that should be done on them.
Fashola said, “Some were critical, others were less critical and the Third Mainland Bridge is one of those bridges. At the time we estimated that we will need about N277bn to do all of that work over a period of four years.
“We didn’t get the budget that we expected, but we got something and we have started some work over the last few years. Currently, we have intervened on 37 bridges across the country, doing maintenance work and all of that.”
The minister who explained that “ we have been told by the Director of Bridges, Engineer Emmanuel Adeoye, that the scope of works will involve
“Restoration of different types of damaged piles dozens of them, cleaning of the Rust found on them, and removing the marine and organic materials on them , and jacketing the piles of with rings of concrete, sealing of cracks and coating with epoxy resin to prolong their life.
He said the Repairing work will also be undertaken on the Bridge deck which will be more visible to us commuters, entailing lifting of the Bridge decks measuring 135 meters each to check for structural damage to deck supports and repair them, to re-align any displacements by bracing and pinning; and to replace bearings, joints among other repairs.
According to him, this is more than double the traffic on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
This unavoidable partial closure requires careful planning.
“From what I have shared with you, we have planned for the worst, we can only hope for the best.
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 assured that “this work is being undertaken by our commitment to refurbish old infrastructure , while building new ones, and also in response to calls by well meaning members of the public who have from time to time sent out pictures and videos expressing concern about this and other Bridges.
“Your Government hears you and this is the response,your collaboration is now the most important ingredient, required to make this work.”