Third Mainland Bridge: Alternative Routes Are Ready, Lagos Govt Tells Motorists

BREAKING: Third Mainland Bridge Reopens
A file photo of a section of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

 

The Lagos State Government has asked motorists to use alternative routes during the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Transportation on Friday, the government said the six-month exercise to be embarked on by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing would target “fixing the worn out expansion joints on the structure of the bridge.”

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, who signed the statement noted that the state government was committed to the free flow of traffic during the period.

He stated that ongoing repair works on the alternative routes highlighted for traffic management were being rounded up in readiness for the partial closure slated for Friday, July 24.

Raising concerns on some failed sections of the alternative routes, the Commissioner confirmed that the bad roads have been fixed.

He listed the failed routes as that Iddo inwards Carter Bridge, Market Road inward Herbert Macaulay Road, Herbert Macaulay road by Abeokuta Street, Herbert Macaulay by Cemetery and Apapa inward Oyingbo.

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Oladeinde explained that the first phase of the bridge rehabilitation would focus on Oworonshoki inward Lagos Island in the morning with traffic diversion from 12.00 midnight to 1.00 pm while the Lagos Island inward Oworonshoki would divert traffic in the afternoon from 1.00 pm to 12.00 midnight.

The commissioner also advised motorists heading towards Ikeja and Ikorodu from Osborne Road, Ikoyi in the morning to make use of the Carter Bridge to access Eko Bridge through Ijora Olopa which would lead them through Funsho Williams Avenue to Doman Long Bridge to Ikorodu, or use Carter Bridge to Iddo through Oyingbo to Herbert Macaulay to Jibowu and link Ikorodu Road.

For motorists coming from Victoria Island, the state government asked them to utilise Ozumba Mbadiwe Road to Falomo Bridge through Alfred Rewane to Old Kingsway Road, Osborn to Ilubirin and Catter Bridge.

As a second option for this category of motorists, he advised them to take Bonny Camp to Independence Bridge to Marina Bridge through Apongbon to Eko Bridge, Ijora Olopa, Iddo, and Oyingbo.

Stressing further, the commissioner urged afternoon road users inbound Lagos Island are advised to use Ojota on  Ikorodu road to access Funsho Williams Avenue through Eko Bridge/Apongbon axis or utilize Ikorodu road to access Fadeyi/Jibowu/Yaba axis to access Oyingbo-Iddo to Carter Bridge.

Alternatively, Oladeinde stated that motorists can also use Oshodi/Charity through Agege Motor Road to access Cappa to link Ilupeju Bypass or Mushin to get to Town Planning Way to link Ikorodu road or access Moshalasi/Idi-Oro from Mushin to access Funsho Williams avenue and connect Eko Bridge to get to Apongbon or use Empire road to access Yaba to link Oyingbo-Iddo axis.

“In the same vein, Motorists coming from the International Airport to Lagos are advised to use Oshodi-oke to get to Town Planning to link Ikorodu road,” the commissioner said.

He however disclosed that repair works are ongoing on the remaining routes highlighted for traffic diversions to enhance free traffic flow along the corridor during the rehabilitation works.

Repairs on Third Mainland Bridge suspended indefinitely

The Federal Government has indefinitely suspended the proposed repair work earlier scheduled to begin on the Third Mainland Bridge Sunday.

The Lagos Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Charles Akpabio, said the postponement of the repairs is intended to put more measures in place to ease possible traffic congestion the closure of bridge will create.

Mr Akpabio urged all motorists in Lagos to go about their activities and wait for further information on the bridge repair.

The FRSC had explained that traffic information would be communicated from time to time via Radio, Television, Newspapers and social media network.
The commission said that as the lead agency in traffic management in Nigeria, it had concluded plans to coordinate the various traffic agencies involved in the exercise.

He noted that Section 15 of the FRSC Act 2007 clearly stipulated that the operation of the Corps should cover all public roads, adding that the Corps statutory responsibility is to control and enforce traffic regulations on public roads “as we did during the 2008 maintenance work on the Third Mainland Bridge.”

The Third Mainland Bridge was to have been closed for about five months beginning Sunday and to be re-opened on November 6, 2012.

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.