Barely three weeks to the six months closure of Third Mainland Bridge for repair works, the Federal and Lagos State Governments have released traffic management plans and alternative routes to ensure seamless execution of the project.
They said that the decision to embark on a repair of the bridge, one of the longest in the continent, scheduled to commence July 24th and ends January 24th, 2021, was reached to save millions of commuters that use the infrastructure daily.
Announcing the traffic plans on Tuesday at a press briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederick Oladehinde, and Special Adviser to the state Governor, on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, stressed that routine work was needed for longevity of the bridge.
Popoola disclosed that the bridge would be partially closed and there would be a diversion of traffic while repairs would be done in two phases to prevent untold hardship on residents in Lagos.
The controller of works stated that the Oworonshoki bound carriageway would be the first to be shut to traffic during first three months of the repair works.
Popoola said beginning July 24, the bridge would be closed between 12 am to 1 pm from the Lagos Island end of the bridge inward Oworoshonki, while motorists coming from Lagos Mainland to Island would be allowed to use the other side of the bridge.
He added between the hours of 1 pm and 12 am, the bridge would also be closed from Oworonshoki end inward Lagos Island while the other side of the bridge would be opened to motorists coming from Island to Mainland and that this would go on for an initial three months before a reversal.
“The last time this bridge was repaired was 2012 and that is eight years. The federal government wants to replace the bearings and the expansion joints. We know the partial closure will bring discomfort but this is the right thing to do. We do not want the bridge to collapse. The contract was awarded in 2018 but an order was placed for the components because they are not produced in Nigeria,” Popoola said.
On the alternative routes, Olukayode said motorists could use the Ido-Oyingbo route passing through Carter bridge, Ijora through Western Avenue.
Other routes are Ozumba Mbadiwe through Ahmadu Bello Way, Bonny Camp to Zone Police Command to Eko Bridge, and Funsho Williams Avenue.
Oladehinde explained that the plans were drawn in consideration of traffic hours, saying, if you do not have to travel, I will advise you to stay at home so we can minimize traffic.
He also advised Lagosians to make use of the waterways, adding more public transport buses would be provided by the state government so as to discourage residents from traveling in their personal cars.
Adeyoye, however, assured motorists that the state government would embark on an aggressive repair of alternative routes to reduce travel time in the state.
“These repairs are long-awaited and we appreciate the federal government for doing this. As a state, we are going to make the alternative routes motorable. We have identified the areas where there gridlocks. We urge truck owners that are coming into Lagos to stay away if they do not have something important to do. This is also not a time for trucks to park on the roads,” she added.