Third Mainland Bridge is safe – Ministry of Work

The Ministry of Works on Sunday debunked speculations in the social media that the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, was about collapsing due to structural defect.

There were speculations on social media that what the Third Mainland Bridge requires is more than repairs on some joints. Below is an excerpt of a blackberry messenger broadcast:
“The recent maintenance/repair work going-on on Third Mainland Bridge was ordered by the Federal Government as a result of a report produced by a company experienced in underwater surveys. The content of the report was to the effect that the underwater metal casing housing the concrete on and the concrete pile on which the bridge stands have rotted away totally. This accounts for the vibration experienced between Adeniji Adele and Adekunle FAjuyi portions of the bridge. The implication of all of this is that Third Mainland Bridge, between Adeniji Adele and Adekunle Fajuyi, is on the verge of collapsing and requires comprehensive work to be carried out on the foundation…”
However, Dominic Avishigh, Director of Highways Design (Bridges) in the Ministry of Work urged Nigerians to disregard this unfounded rumour.
It said that a joint inspection of the bridge was first carried out by a combined team of engineers, following insinuations that the bridge was oscillating in 2006.
“At the end of the inspection, it was resolved that an internationally reputed bridge consultant be invited to carry out further inspection of the bridge.
“An international bridge consultant was thereafter invited to carry out series of inspections and investigations along with the contractors and the bridge design consultants.
“The studies revealed that there was no threat of collapse on the Third Mainland Bridge,” the statement said.
Mr Avishigh said that it was the same fears that led to the commissioning of underwater studies of the sub-structure of the bridge recently.
It said that the preliminary report of the yet-to-be concluded studies showed that the metal casing housing the concrete was rotting away.
According to the statement, the rot is due to the activities of certain sea creatures attracted to that section of the Lagos Lagoon due to the discharge of organic effluent into it.
“Following the report, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, wrote to the Lagos State Government to stop the discharge of organic effluents into the lagoon in the area,” it said.
It also said that another independent consultant on bridges was re-invited to review the underwater report and the consultant said that the fears were unfounded.
It added that there was no immediate danger posed by the bridge.
It reiterated that President Goodluck Jonathan had also in 2011 ordered the ministry to undertake the underwater inspection of all bridges nationwide, to forestall any catastrophe.
It added that it was the ministry’s investigations that necessitated the ongoing rehabilitation of the Expansion Joints on the Third Mainland Bridge.
It, therefore, urged users of the bridge to disregard the disturbing information meant to frighten Nigerians and cause disaffection among the people.

Fashola bans trailers from Lagos road during day time

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola on Thursday signed into law the bill restricting the movement of trailers on Lagos road between the hours of 6am and 9pm.

The governor assented to the Lagos State Road Traffic Bill at a ceremony attended by members of the executive council, top officials of the police force and other traffic management agencies in the state.

Mr Fashola said the new law was a holistic review of the state’s Traffic Law of 2003, adding that it was designed to ensure safety on the roads.

He said that the growth of Lagos into a mega city with large migration into the state had resulted in traffic congestion, saying that the new law was one of government`s strategies to manage the situation.

“This new law is also the state government`s intervention to the alarming statistics of road accidents, especially those caused by reckless driving and activities of commercial motorcyclists.”

“From records at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), 722 accidents were reported, comprising 568 males and 154 females between January and July this year.”

“At our Toll Gate Trauma Centre, 254 accidents, which resulted in 35 deaths, were recorded during the same period. Fifty per cent of the cases were caused by okada riders, 27 per cent of the victims were passengers and 23 per cent pedestrians.”

“These are alarming figures and we cannot afford to allow this to continue, hence our intervention with this law,” he said.

Mr Fashola said that the real objective of the new law was to improve the traffic situation in Lagos and not to arbitrarily send people to jail. He enjoined road users to voluntary comply with the law.

The governor vowed that his government would strictly implement the law, assuring that offenders would be given fair hearing and would be accorded the right to defend themselves during prosecution.

Life expectancy

The Attorney General and Lagos State Commission of Justice Ade Ipaye said the law sought to promote the life expectancy of residents as it would significantly reduce congestion on the roads.

Mr Ipaye said that the law would address the safety and security issues associated with operations of commercial motorcyclists and illegal use of vehicles in the state.

He said the law would not be implemented immediately, adding that a lot of public enlightenment would be carried out while copies distributed to residents.

The Law

The new law spells out what constitutes traffic offences in Lagos State, as well as the penalty each attracted.

According to the law, trailers, with the exemption of fuel tankers and long passenger trucks are now prohibited from entering into or travelling within the metropolis from 6 am to 9pm.

Violators risk impoundment of their vehicles and payment of N50, 000 fine or six months imprisonment.

Another salient provision of the law is the prohibition of eating, counting money, making phone calls and engaging in other dangerous activities while driving, prescribing a fine of N30,000 for violators.

Other highlights included the ban on operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles on major bridges, Ikorodu Road, Funsho Williams Avenue, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway and Lekki-Epe Expressway.

It also compelled commercial bus drivers and their conductors to wear identification tags while property owners are also compelled to report cases of abandoned vehicles in their vicinity or risk punishment.

Officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) are empowered to administer breathalyzers on drivers to detect their drunkenness while owners of commercial vehicles are compelled to obtain operating licenses from government.

Repairs on Third Mainland Bridge begin today

The Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda on Friday said that the repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge which was suspended indefinitely by the Lagos state government will be begin on Friday.

The Minister disclosed this while inaugurating the repair of eight expansion joints on the Third Mainland Bridge.

According to Mr Yuguda, the repair of the longest bridge in Africa will cost N1.055 billion and is being handled by Messrs Borini Prono & Co (Nig.) Limited.

The contract will run from July 6, 2012 to November 5, 2012.

According to the contract papers, the first phase of the replacement of expansion joints will begin on the inward Lagos side between Ebute Meta Interchange and Adeniji Adele. This section will be shut for the duration of the repair work.

The second phase if on the outward Lagos side between Adeniji Adele and Ebute Meta Interchange.

Third Mainland Bridge will not be closed during repairs – Fashola

The Lagos State governor, Babatunde Fashola on Monday said that contrary to what has been reported, the Third Mainland Bridge will not be shut down from July but that diversions will take place depending on what sections of the road will be worked upon.

He urged residents of the State not to entertain any needless fear about the impending repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge, saying it is all about proper management of the situation.

Mr Fashola who spoke in an interview with State House Correspondents at Lagos House, Ikeja said that it is a process which has taken place before and when it took place the people went through it and it was managed successfully even though there were some traffic.

“Let us remember that we have done this before. Two years ago four joints were fixed and I think we managed the traffic by communicating with our people. So, contrary to what has been reported, it is not a total closure but a partial closure.

“But let us contextualize it; we are better off today than we were when we did it, at that time we diverted traffic mainly to Funsho Williams, Western Avenue, Ikorodu Road and also Murtala Mohammed Way and through Carter Bridge into Lagos Island and out. Remember that at the time this happened we were constructing those two roads. Now they have been finished.

“So in terms of roads infrastructure, we are better off now than when we first undertook the repairs and managed it successfully, so it should be less painful. We have also agreed with the Federal Ministry of Works and chosen this period so that we will utilize the time the students are on vacation”.

The governor reiterated that the repair works will start hopefully on July 1st but that much of the work will deepen during the period when the school pupils are expected to be on holidays and that the traffic impact is expected to reduce.

He added that the work will continue till after the school children resume but that government is targeting “that before the end of year rush and traffic starts mounting by October to November, we would have finished so that people will have a pleasurable and comfortable drive on that bridge in and out of Lagos”.

Mr Fashola said the road will also save the residents the wear and tear on their suspension and shock absorber, adding that it is in their own interest for it to be repaired and that they should not panic.

He said that State has a Radio station dedicated to traffic issues. He said that when the Third Mainland Bridge first underwent repairs, there was no Traffic Radio in the state which is now available to enable information and movement to be communicated regularly.

The Governor also reiterated the need for efficient management of roads as a resource noting that part of the question which the people should be asking themselves now is if they have to be on the road, stating that such pertinent question should be asked especially during rush hours in the morning when people are heading to Lagos Island, is it necessary to be on the road at that time?

He stressed that if there is no compelling reason to be on the road, one can make a telephone call, send an SMS, or use a Blackberry to chat as these constitute some of the traffic management strategies that can be utilized within the few weeks that the repairs would last.

The Governor who also spoke on media reports about the announcement of the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repairs by an agency of the Federal Government like the Federal Road Safety Corps said the Constitution clearly spells out what responsibilities each tier of government handles, adding: “We cannot continue this desperate encroachment of territories”.

He said whilst the responsibility for managing the Third Mainland Bridge and maintenance is that of the Federal Government, that of managing traffic on it belongs to the State.

The traffic management responsibility belongs to the state, a bridge that crosses a Lagoon within the territory of a state lies within its municipal control for traffic.

“A trunk road by definition is a road that connects two states like Lagos Ibadan Expressway. That is where the Federal Roads Safety Corps (FRSC) should be, not within the territory of the municipality of a State. It is this desperate encroachment of territories that might be responsible for the inaccurate information”.

He said it is the expansion joints which are eight in number that is about to be fixed on the Third Mainland Bridge.

“Contrary to what has been reported, it is not a total closure but a partial closure where diversions will take place depending on what sections of the road will be worked upon. The Honourable Commissioner for Works, Transportation and Special Adviser on Works will brief you in details most probably by Wednesday about where the diversions will be and what to expect”, Mr Fashola said.