Motorists and commuters moving from the Mainland axis to Lagos Island may begin to heave a sigh of relief from Monday, 19th of October, when the Federal Government would have opened Eko and Marine Bridges for use.
The bridges were approved for reopening after a report from the contractor handling the projects confirmed that the first phase of the urgent repair works done on both bridges had been completed.
Announcing the date, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that the bridges were reopened to reduce travel time after it became obvious that the Third Mainland would not be fully reopened anytime soon.
Fashola, who announced the directives on Saturday, stated that after reopening the completed section of the bridges (Lagos Island Bound), work would commence immediately on the Alaka bound side of the project.
The minister, through a statement signed by Director, Press, and Publicity for the ministry, Boade Akinola, commended Lagosians for their patience, understanding, and cooperation during the closure.
Explaining further on the next phase of repair works on the Bridges, the Director Highways (Bridges & Designs) in the Ministry, Engr. Emmanuel Adeoye, said work was taking off without the need for either partial or complete closure of the Bridges, adding, however, that the public would be informed adequately should such a step become necessary.
The 1,350-metre Eko Bridge, built in phases between 1965 and 1975, links the Lagos Island to the Mainland. It was closed to traffic in March this year in order to replace faulty joints and bearings. But, as a result of COVID-19 lockdown, actual repair works commenced in the first week of June.
It would be recalled that 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, which is part of a network of complex bridges with several loops taking traffic in and out of the Apapa area of Lagos, 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 repair works on the Eko and Marine Bridges is part of the ongoing Federal Government’s Bridge Maintenance Programme which involves the repairs and rehabilitation of over 37 bridges nationwide with a substantial number already completed while others are at different stages of completion.