July 19, 2020

Third Mainland Bridge closure: FG, LASG officials inspect alternative routes

Third Mainland Bridge

Third Mainland Bridge

Mainland Bridge

The Federal and Lagos State Governments have appealed to Lagos residents to stop dumping refuse in drains so as not to jeopardise ongoing road repairs toward partial closure of Third Mainland Bridge for rehabilitation.

They made the appeal on Sunday during a joint inspection of alternative routes under rehabilitation toward the planned partial closure of the bridge on July 24 for repairs.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, during the inspection, called for speedy change of attitude toward drain stuffing causing flooding and quick road degeneration in the state.

“The joint inspection we are carrying out has to do with the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge that is coming up on the 24th of this month.

READ ALSO:Trump says Biden ‘not competent’ to lead the country

“We have gone round and seen many places. We started from Ojota, came down to Maryland; we saw where we need to put more attention; we saw where Lagos State has done repairs.

“Right here now we are at Abebe. The problem we have here is just the attitude of the residents.

“We saw the drains, they are all blocked with used tyres, papers and so many things that should not be there.

“We are appealing to our people to change their attitude. Government is spending a lot of money to make sure that the roads are maintained but our people are not cooperating.

“There is no need to turn the drains into refuse cans. Please change your attitudes, otherwise the blockade will constitute a nuisance and the roads will continue to get spoilt on daily basis,’’ he said.

Popoola reaffirmed that the outward Lagos Island lane of the Third Mainland Bridge would be partially closed to traffic by midnight of July 24 for commencement of rehabilitation works on the bridge.

He said that the ministry would close the Oworonshoki-bound carriageway first for three months and after completion of work, move to the Island-bound to replicate the repairs.

“We are changing the bearings, the expansion joints and then re-surfacing the bridge. We will make sure we work day and night so that the six months completion date will not be exceeded,’’ he said.

Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Works and Infrastructure, said that the inspection was a fact-finding tour and decried the high rate of road infrastructure abuses.

She decried the constant theft of manhole covers on the Eric Moore Road axis for over one kilometre stretch and using the open drains as refuse dumps.

“The controller has rightly said it. Those drainage structures are not for disposal of refuse and when they are blocked, in no little time the road will be affected,’’ she said.

Adeyoye said urgent steps should be taken against scavenging activities in the state, noting that the burden was more on drains wherever there were scavengers.

She said that her ministry was carrying out speedy rehabilitation of alternative roads to ease movement during the closure.

“Our ministry is largely undertaking repairs in collaboration with the Lagos State Public Works Corporation just to make sure that the alternative routes are in a motorable state for people to make use for this period.

“All the routes have been identified and we are working on them. One of them is Eric Moore here at Abebe Junction,’’ she said.

Adeyoye said that the resurfacing of the Abebe road section was being done repeatedly because of constant abuse of the road infrastructure by Lagos residents.

Speaking on available alternative routes, she said that 10 major access roads had been mapped out for use during closure of the Third Mainland Bridge.

She said that priority would be given to people on the Mainland connecting the Island in the morning to use the bridge while those living on the Island would be required to use alternative routes.

Adeyoye added that those home-bound to the mainland would also have priority of usage of the bridge in the evening.

“If you are living in Victoria Island or Ikoyi, you can use alternatives such as Eko Bridge or you go through Iddo-Carter. So, you can now take Herbert Macaulay.

“Other inner roads are also available. You can also go through Adekunle, Glover and the side roads.

“You can take Costain. We will make efforts to make the roads motorable,’’ she said.

She said that the state Commissioner of Police had given permission for construction to take place in the night in spite of the curfew, so that work could be done overnight toward speedy completion of repairs.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde, said that apart from the alternative routes already mapped out, water transportation options were being made viable.

Oladeinde said that the Lagos State Bus Services Ltd. had also been given permission to use the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes to move more people fast.

“We have quite a number of boats that come from Ikorodu and Bariga, going to the Island to complement the alternative routes that people would use,’’ he said.

He said that a 24-hour operations task force team had been formed comprising both federal and state law and traffic regulatory agencies to ensure smooth movement to avert gridlock.