As part of the measures to reduce travel time during third Mainland Bridge closure, Federal and Lagos State Government have concluded plans to deploy at least 900 traffic officers to manage gridlock on the bridge and alternative routes created to ease movement.
Of the 900 traffic personnel set to be deployed by both governments includes 250 Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and 600 Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) who would manage the traffic within the six months duration set for the repair works.
The deployment was disclosed on Thursday when Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, received the new Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Lagos, Olusegun Ogungbemide, in a courtesy visit at the State House in Marina, appealed to residents of the State to exercise patience and bear the discomfort that will be experienced during the partial closure.
Sanwo-Olu said the closure of the 11.8km bridge was inevitable, following physical deterioration observed on the structure after an integrity test conducted by the Federal Government revealed the need for an urgent repair works to prevent disaster that may result from the total collapse of the infrastructure.
While assuring residents that FRSC and LASTMA personnel would constantly be on the road to ensure seamless vehicular movement, the governor hinted that repair works have been carried out on alternative routes mapped out for diversions.
Sanwo-Olu emphasised that vehicular movements on the Third Mainland Bridge would be disrupted by 25 percent of its regular traffic.
“The partial closure of Third Mainland Bridge is not something that everybody should worry about, because this is an exercise that had been done before. For emphasis, the traffic disruption is only about 25 percent of the regular traffic on the bridge. The 75 percent of vehicles that normally ply the route will still have access to move on the bridge during the period of repair.
“We have furnished and improved the design of the alternative routes, and we are still working on other arterial routes so that our people can have seamless journey times to and from their places of work. So, there is nothing commuters should worry about in this period. We will ensure the repair work on Third Mainland Bridge does not overburden them. We will be deploying over 650 LASTMA officers on the road to control the traffic.”
To further assuage the discomfort that may be experienced by commuters and ease the roads of gridlock, Sanwo-Olu said the State had strengthened the State-owned Lagos Ferry Service (LAGFERRY) by doubling its capacity for mass movement, thereby giving the residents an alternative through water transportation.
He said: “We are also urging the commuters to explore the option of waterways in their journey. The jetty built in Ilaje area of Bariga has been activated and we are deploying more speedboats to raise the capacity of our ferry service. This is to ensure that many people are not on road at the same time.”
Responding, Ogungbemide said the FRSC played prominent roles in the smooth running of Lagos security architecture, pleading with the Governor to integrate the agency into the State’s Security Council.
The FRSC boss assured Lagos residents of his readiness to engage activities that would give road users a pleasant experience.
He said 250 FRSC operatives would be deployed to work with LASTMA to maintain traffic on Third Mainland Bridge and alternative routes.