Third Mainland Bridge
By Demola Ojo in Lagos
As repair works begin on the Third Mainland Bridge today, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has reassured that the bridge will not be closed at all, advising the public not to panic.
A statement signed by the Lagos State Command Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr. Nseobong Akpabio, and made available to THISDAY, noted that the assurance had become necessary in view of the misconception an earlier report that the Third Mainland Bridge will be closed to traffic during the repair which was wrongly credited to FRSC might generate in the minds of the public.
According to Akpabio , “At no time did the FRSC assert that the bridge will be closed or shut during the proposed repair work. Rather, the corps only informed the public that ‘There will be diversions and delays during the period. Therefore, they are advised to strictly adhere to road signs, traffic rules and regulations to avoid hitches.” While advising motorists to ensure adequate planning of their trips and utilise designated alternative routes to avoid undue delays, the Lagos Sector Commander noted that “Section 15 of the FRSC Act 2007 clearly stipulates that the operation of the corps shall cover all public roads,” maintaining that “the Corps statutory responsibility is to control and enforce traffic regulations on public roads as we did during the 2008 maintenance work on the Third Mainland Bridge.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Waterways Authority and boat operators under the aegis of Association of Waterways Transporters on Friday organised a brainstorming session at the Falomo head office of LASWA on how to maximise the waterways in order to ease traffic congestion during the repair works on the bridge.
LASWA General Manager, Yinka Marinho , said many Lagos State-owned jetties in Ikorodu, Lekki, Oworonshoki and Ojo would be fully operational during the period of repair works on the bridge, assuring on safety of passengers:
“We have officers whose job it is to make sure that operators comply with all the rules concerning safety,” he said. “People should realise that travelling by water is very safe and even in the rare case of falling in water, you can’t drown as long as you have a life jacket on.”
He also disclosed that the time for plying the waterways has been extended from 6pm till 7:30pm, albeit for designated boats. “We have ensured that all the boats that would operate during the extended period are twin-engine boats – in case one engine becomes faulty – and that they all have navigational lights,” Marinho said.
Speaking on behalf of AWAT, the president Babatunde Emoruwa, said the boat operators were ready to provide services that would make life comfortable for commuters.
“We want Lagosians to realise that there is a better alternative to getting stuck in traffic. Travelling by water is stress-free and it is almost impossible not to doze during the journey. We may not be doctors but we’ve been able to reduce the stress levels of many people,” he informed.