October 23, 2023

FG reopens Third Mainland Bridge after repairs

3rd Mainland bridge

Mainland Bridge

By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Federal Government, late Sunday evening, reopened the Third Mainland Bridge barely 24 hours after closure for palliative work.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mrs. Olukorede Kesha, had expressed satisfaction with repairs done on the Third Mainland Bridge, assuring motorists of a smooth ride till the commencement of comprehensive rehabilitation in January 2024.

Kesha gave the assurance on Sunday during an on-the-spot assessment of the repairs on the bridge.

However, the road was reopened to traffic at about 7 p.m. following completion of the repair work.

Recall that the controller had, on Thursday, announced a 24-hour closure of the bridge to allow for repairs of some critical portions.

The closure took effect from midnight on Saturday and is expected to last till midnight on Sunday to reduce the hardship being faced by motorists.

During the inspection, the controller stopped on various portions between Iyana-Oworo and Adeniji-Adele where remedial repairs had been done on a 9.7-kilometer stretch of the Lagos Island in-bound lane.

She stated that the construction done was just palliative work to keep the highway in good condition pending the comprehensive rehabilitation scheduled for January 2024.

“This repair is going to last beyond January; we don’t intend to do any work that will last only one or two months. Even by January, the road will still be good,” she said.

Kesha said some of the components needed for the comprehensive rehabilitation works were being imported for the emergency repairs to begin.

She added that what the Federal Ministry of Works had been doing before now was attending to failed portions, adding that the comprehensive rehabilitation would involve total removal and replacement of the asphalt surface.

The controller added that damaged ramps, and expansion joints would be replaced, and the painting of the parapet walls and other major repairs.

According to her, the contract awarded for comprehensive rehabilitation of the bridge in January would last for six months but would be divided into two segments of three months for each phase.

Kesha explained that the comprehensive repairs would give the infrastructure a new lease of life, after which the bridge would wear a new look.

She urged road users to continue to enjoy a smooth ride on the highway, adding, however, that they should observe traffic and safety rules on the highway.

Meanwhile, some road users, commended President Bola Tinubu for the repairs, even as they called for more routine maintenance and increased funding for the bridge and other roads in Lagos.

Mr Henry Felix, a commercial bus driver, commended the repairs done at the weekend which, he said, was an off-peak period.

He, however, called for more regular maintenance and proactive measures to make the bridge pothole-free at all times.

A trader, Deola Ajayi, also praised the president for introducing short-term repairs that would not impact activities and businesses negatively.

“Tinubu knows how to grow the economy; that’s why he did the repairs after we had finished business on the Island on Saturday, and because people are plenty in Lagos, doing repairs on the weekend is better.

“I like the one-day repair; the government should be doing it like that at weekends and also at night. May God help our president,” she said.

Other road users also commended Tinubu and appealed for increased funding for federal road projects in the state.

The 11.8-kilometre bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland.

The bridge, which starts from Oworonshoki, linking the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and Lagos-Ibadan expressway, ends at the Adeniji-Adele interchange on Lagos Island.

It was constructed in 1990 and adjudged as the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the construction of the Oct. 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt, was completed.