3RD MAINLAND BRIDGE REPAIRS: FASHOLA DECRIES LONG TIME OF NEGLECT

. . . Orders LASTMA, FRSC Men To Move To Traffic Prone Areas

. . . LASG Assures Of Better Alternative Routes, Effective Traffic Control

As the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for the maintenance repair works entered its day four, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola has said that the on-going repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge and other Federal Government projects in the State are a result of a long time of neglect by successive governments in Nigeria.

The Minister made the remarks in Lagos today  when he paid an official inspection visit to the site of on-going construction on the Third Mainland bridge to ascertain the status of the work done and the impact of the partial closure on traffic movement.

Accompanied by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure Engr. Aramide  Adeyoye,  the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, South West Federal Controller of Works, Engr. Adedamola Kuti and other top government officials, Fashola  stated that his visit was to lend support  to his team of Engineers and other crew, who had been on ground for about two weeks in preparation for the repair works, disclosing that his men had concluded their scientific laboratory works in Abuja before coming to Lagos for practical fieldwork to fix the worn out expansion joints and other maintenance works required to keep the 11.8 Kilometre bridge in good shape.

“As you would have noticed, Eko Bridge is also undergoing repairs, likewise, Apapa, Oworonshoki, Apongbon. We just completed Liverpool Bridge, Gbagada/Oworonshoki is on-going and many other bridges. This is as a result of many years of not working or maintaining them by successive governments. This government is, therefore, faced with the reality of repairing and maintaining all these bridges and other Federal projects across the country for the safety and benefit of our people. I want to thank you sincerely for your level of cooperation so far, while I assure you that we will continue to collaborate to ensure there is less pressure on commuters as a result of this work”, Fashola said.

He outlined other bridges with renovation work either completed or on-going as: Marine Bridge, Apapa; Kara Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Express Way; Falomo Bridge, Lagos Island; Ojuelegba; Eko Bridge; Apongbon; and Obalende among others.

While expressing happiness that the impact of the partial closure was not much on vehicular movement when he and his team inspected vehicular movement from Oworonshoki in bound Lagos to Adekunle and Adeniji Adele end of the Third Mainland Bridge, the former Lagos State Governor ordered operatives  of the Federal Safety Corps, FRSC, and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to immediately move away from the main bridge  where construction work  was  currently ongoing to  the alternative route  areas  where there is likely to be congestion, especially during the peak hours.

Fashola commended the Lagos State Government for effectively managing the situation through the rehabilitation of various alternative routes and provision of adequate traffic management officials, urging Lagosians to be calm as the Federal Government would work hard and collaborate with the Lagos State Government to ensure that the repair work does not extend beyond its stipulated period.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, while briefing the Minister on the traffic management strategy adopted to ensure free vehicular movement, disclosed that about 650 LASTMA personnel have been deployed by his Ministry to support about 250 FRSC men on ground to direct traffic and ensure less congestion while the construction works last.

Oladeinde stated that since just about 25% of the Third Mainland Bridge users are going to be affected, the State Government, through the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, has done palliative work to ensure alternative routes are accessible to ease congestion while the government has increased the BRT fleet plying Lagos Island corridor.

The Commissioner also advised Lagosians to make use of the waterways by plying the various jetties in the metropolis to reduce travel time, adding that the State Government in consideration of the likely increase in the use of water routes has provided improved safety guidelines and measures for ferry operators.

While allaying the fears of residents over the partial closure of the bridge, the Commissioner urged road users to cooperate with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on the laid down traffic directives to minimise inconvenience in movement and ensure free flow of traffic.  

Also speaking, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye reaffirmed that palliative works on several alternative routes provided for motorists have been completed, assuring that her Ministry would keep on monitoring the work progress to identify other areas where rehabilitation works are necessary.