The Federal Government has said that it will requires N277 billion to rehabilitate 37 bridges across the nation which require necessary repairs, just as it has again confirmed the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, for scheduled maintenance work, that will last from July 2020 to January 2021.
Works and Housing Minister , Babatunde Fashola who made the revelation in Abuja yesterday, however said that the Third Mainland bridge, which links the Lagos Island with the Lagos Mainland, was among the bridges designated for maintenance, after a comprehensive assessment of 37 bridges across the country.
He said that maintenance work will be carried out on a length of 3.5 km out of the 11.8 km bridge, considered the busiest in the country, with a total traffic of 132, 702 vehicles per day, while it will be officially closed to road users by midnight on Friday
According to him, the rehabilitation of the bridge became imperative due to failing and damaged portions, adding the government cannot afford to rebuild the bridge if allowed to collapse.
Fashola, while appreciating the hardship the closure of the bridge will bring on Nigerians, noted that there was no other way to carry out the maintenance work.
He said the construction of the bridge spanned three decades , while Government cannot afford to rebuild it, if it is allowed to totally collapse ,adding that after the repairs motorists will have a better driving experience on the bridge.
Director Highway Bridges and Design, Engineer Emmanuel Adeoye who was also on hand , said the maintenance work on the bridge include the replacement of damaged bars, hydro-demolition of all non-firm parts and lifting of two of the Bridge Spans.
Fashola said others are anti-rust treatment of exposed bars, replacement of 14 damaged expansion joints and other auxiliary works that may be directed by engineers.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has confirmed that the palliative works on the alternative routes highlighted for traffic management during the proposed Bridge rehabilitation, are rounding up in readiness for the partial closure .
According to the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, Iddo inwards Carter Bridge, Market road inward Herbert Macaulay road, Herbert Macaulay road by Abeokuta street, Herbert Macaulay by Cemetery and Apapa inward Oyingbo have all been fixed.
Oladeinde further explained that the first phase of the bridge rehabilitation would focus on Oworonshoki inward Lagos Island in the morning with traffic diversion from 12.00 midnight to 1.00pm, while the Lagos Island inward Oworonshoki, will divert traffic in the afternoon, from 1.00pm to 12.00 midnight.