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 ongoing repair works on the bridge and other federal government projects in the state are a result of long years of neglect by successive governments in Nigeria.
The minister made the remarks in Lagos yesterday when he paid an official inspection visit to the site of ongoing 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 Mr. Aramide Adeyoye; the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka; South-west Federal Controller of Works, Mr. 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 ongoing 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 directed the 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 Lagos residents 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.