Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja
The federal government yesterday announced that the Eko and Marine bridges in Lagos would be open to the public from Monday following the conclusion of urgent repair works on the facilities.
A statement by the Director, Press and Publicity, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mrs Boade Akinola, quoted the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, as giving the directive for the opening of the bridges, having been satisfied with their fitness for use by commuters.
The approval for the reopening of the completed first phase of repairs on the bridges by midnight on Sunday, October 18, the statement said, was sequel to the report by the contractor handling the projects, Messrs Buildwell Plant & Equipment Industries Limited, that the repair works had been completed.
Fashola thanked the people of Lagos State for their patience, understanding and cooperation while the affected sections of the bridges were closed.
He directed that members of the public should be informed of any restrictions to traffic during work on the second phase of the project.
The minister added that while the completed section of the Eko Bridge (Lagos Island bound) should be reopened to traffic, work should commence immediately on the Alaka bound side of the project.
Explaining the next phase of repair works on the bridges, the Director, Highways (Bridges and Designs) in the ministry, Mr. Emmanuel Adeoye, said work was taking off without the need for either partial or complete closure of the bridges.
He added, however, that the public would be informed should any form of blockade become necessary.
The 1,350-metre Eko Bridge, built in phases between 1965 and 1975, links Lagos Island to the Mainland. It was closed to traffic in March this year in order to replace faulty joints and bearings.
The ministry stressed that as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, actual repair works commenced in the first week of June.
The statement said, “Work commenced in May on the first of the three phases in which repair works on the Marine Bridge was divided. The repairs on the bridge is part of a network of complex bridges with several loops taking traffic in and out of the Apapa area of Lagos.
“It included jacketing and skin repairs of the piers, lifting the bridge section deck in order to change the electrometric bearing, milling and placing a new wearing course of asphalt, among others.”
The statement added that the work on the Eko and Marine bridges was part of an on-going federal government bridge maintenance programme. It said the programme involved the repair and rehabilitation of over 37 bridges nationwide, adding that a substantial number has been completed while others are at different stages of completion.