The Lagos State Government will shut the Adekunle-Adeniji axis of the Third Mainland Bridge for the second round of repairs.
According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Ministry of Transportation, the closure will take place on Friday at midnight.
Bolanle Ogunlola, who signed the statement on behalf of the Public Affairs Unit, said the move is in “furtherance of the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge occasioned by the ongoing first phase rehabilitation works nearing completion.”
“The Lagos State Government has announced that there will be a total closure of the Adekunle to Adeniji section of the bridge for the second time from midnight of Friday 30th October to Sunday 1st November 2020,” the statement partly read.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, said: “This second phase closure of the repair works is coming two weeks behind schedule as a result of delays occasioned by the recent mayhem around the Lagos metropolis.”
Oladeinde noted that the decision to close the section of the bridge for repairs is “to prevent vibrations on the bridge during the casting-in-place of the newly installed expansion joints which in turn will allow the special concrete achieve its required compressive strength.”
He had earlier explained that the casting of the expansion joints would be in two phases due to the number of expansion joints that will be cast and to effectively manage the attendant traffic, hence, repair works slated for weekends to minimize inconveniences that may arise from the total closure.
While commending residents of the state for being patient since the commencement of the project, the commissioner said hinted that the previous alternative routes remain the same for road users to utilize during the closure period, while LASTMA and other Traffic Management Agencies will be on the ground to direct traffic for easy vehicular movement.
He also “assured that the section of the bridge between Adekunle and Iyana–Oworo still remains open, as well as Ebute Metta outbound section into Iyana-Oworo.”
The Federal Government has announced its plan to completely close a section of Third Mainland Bridge for a period of two days, for repair works.
This was announced on Wednesday in a statement signed by the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Joshua Popoola.
The total closure of the section of the bridge will take place from midnight of Friday, October 9 to midnight of Sunday, October 11 to allow the contractor complete the first stage of casting works.
The statement explained that the contractor currently carrying out repair works on the bridge is nearing completion of works on the closed section of Third Mainland Bridge and requires the total closure of both bounds of the bridge between Adeniji Adele and Adekunle to complete work.
“The total closure of this section of the bridge is to ensure that there is no vibration on the bridge during the casting in-place of the newly installed expansion joints. This is to allow for setting of the special concrete, which allows the concrete to achieve its required compressive strength,” the statement read in part.
Due to the number of expansion joints to be cast on the closed section of the bridge and the traffic situation in Lagos State, especially during the week days; the casting of the expansion joints will be in two stages to ensure that the total closure is only at the weekends, when there is less traffic plying the route.
The second total closure of the section of the bridge will be communicated at a later date.
The section of the bridge between Adekunle and Iyana – Oworo will still remain open, and traffic can move from Ebute-Metta/ Adekunle to Iyana – Oworo and vice – versa.
The bridge was shut on Friday, and will remain shut for the next six months as the repairs continue.
According to the Federal Controller of Works, Olukayode Popoola, a diversion has been created for the contractor handling the repairs to commence work on the outward lane of the island.
Popoola also explained that the inward lane has been left open to enable motorists to ply the road with ease while going about their businesses.
Commuters have, however, already begun to experience increased gridlock on the axis.
See video below.
In August 2018, the Third Mainland Bridge was shut for a three-day investigative maintenance; an underwater confirmatory test was also carried out in March 2019.
Also in 2019, a viral video indicating an unusual vibration of the bridge raised concerns over the bridge’s safety, but the Federal Government dispelled the rumours insisting that the bridge was structurally fit and poses no danger to users.
Meanwhile, further investigation revealed that the worn-out expansion joints of the cantilever bridge may not be posing an immediate threat to the structure at the time, but consistent use without carrying out the required maintenance work has left the bridge in bad shape.
While doing the inspection on Tuesday, Fashola urged Nigerians to endure the hardship and cooperate with the construction workers.
According to him, there is no better time than now, to begin the reconstruction.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday asked motorists to cooperate with traffic officers as the six months partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge commences.
“Earlier today, I stopped at the Adeniji Adele end of the Third Mainland Bridge to inspect the ongoing effort to ensure the diversion and flow of traffic is on course,” Sanwo-Olu said via his verified Twitter page.
“The repair of this bridge is long overdue and I encourage motorists to cooperate with traffic officers.”
Earlier today, I stopped at the Adeniji Adele end of the Third Mainland Bridge to inspect the ongoing effort to ensure the diversion and flow of traffic is on course.
The repair of this bridge is long over due and I encourage motorists to cooperate with traffic officers. pic.twitter.com/o0N0OGc2ZA
With an estimated 20 million people, Lagos is Africa’s most populous city with the highest population density in Nigeria.
The state’s population size comes at a price – clogged roads, exacerbated by insufficient and, in several areas, decrepit transport infrastructure.
Now, the daily commuting experience of many Lagos residents is about to become harsher after the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing announced plans to close the Third Mainland Bridge for rehabilitation starting, from July 24 to January 24.
The closure, according to the ministry’s front-man in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, is long overdue, for a contract awarded since 2018.
With the budget sum of N18.875bn, the rehabilitation work is expected to run for 27 months and will be carried out by Borini Prono, one of the consortia of companies that built the bridge in the 1980s.
The replacements of the worn-out bearings and bad expansion joints are scheduled for the six months; this warranted the partial closure of the bridge.
The general maintenance of the entire 177 piles that form the foundation of the bridge, a major part of the rehabilitation work, is also expected to be carried out, but this is an underwater work and has nothing to do with the bridge’s closure.
In August 2018, the Third Mainland Bridge was shut for a three-day investigative maintenance; an underwater confirmatory test was also carried out in March 2019. Also in 2019, a viral video indicating an unusual vibration of the bridge raised concerns over the bridge’s safety, but the federal government dispelled the rumours insisting the bridge was structurally fit and poses no danger to users. Meanwhile, further investigation revealed that the worn-out expansion joints of the cantilever bridge may not be posing an immediate threat to the structure at the time, but consistent use without carrying out the required maintenance work has left the bridge in bad shape.
Averting major danger
The Lagos state government says it has a record of 60,000 trips going from the Mainland to the Island daily. Coupled with the city’s traffic problems, it is almost impossible for the government or its contractors to find a perfect time for rehabilitation work on the bridge.
John has been on the road for four hours; he’s trying to connect the usable part of the Eko Bridge through the National Theatre entry point. John throws out his head intermittently to check what could be the cause of the traffic but all he could see from a short distance are a long queue of heavy-duty vehicles.
“There is traffic everywhere now, as you can see, but shutting down the Third Mainland Bridge . . . I don’t know what is going to happen but people are going to suffer,” he said.
John, like many other drivers, spends valuable time in traffic, enduring the pollution and other heavy burdens posed by the gridlock.
Still, the federal government is emphasising the need for the repair work to commence as scheduled, as no burden would be heavier than the loss of life.
“The test was carried out in 2019. We have analysed the results; now we want to replace it, so it’s not as if we intentionally want to close all the bridges, but because we just have to work on it to prevent calamity,” Popoola said.
Mr. Popoola also ruled out the possibility of an extension in the project deadline. He said carrying out this construction work during the rainy season is not a problem; in this case, changing bearings and expansion joints are different from asphalt work which is usually disrupted by the rains.
Traffic management plans
The Lagos state government has been working closely with the Federal Government especially in providing a traffic management plan. The diversion will see gridlock spilling over to some other major and inner roads in the state.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will work with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to help motorists have a semblance of a smooth journey throughout the construction period.
In the mornings – from 12:00am to 1:00pm – a section of the road will be open from commuters coming in from Oworonshoki to the Island; those coming in from the Island to Oworoshonki, at that time, are expected to use alternative routes. The direction swings from 1:00pm to 12:00am, as commuters coming in from the Island to Oworonshoki are allowed to use a section of the bridge while those coming from the Mainland are to use alternative routes.
According to Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the bridge’s traffic will only be disrupted by 25 percent.
Authorities say alternative routes have been improved to sustain the expected increase of diverted traffic. But, with Eko Bridge also partially shut, Carter Bridge is set to be the main conduit linking the Mainland to the Island.
The Third Mainland Bridge earned its name from being the third of bridges linking the largely suburban Mainland to the relatively upscale Lagos Island. The Carter Bridge and the Eko Bridge (formerly called the Second Mainland Bridge) linked both Lagoses before the 11.8 km bridge was completed in 1990.
Expectedly, Eko and Carter bridge should be the alternative routes for the period when the work begins on the Third Mainland Bridge. But Eko Bridge is also not in good shape. The Ministry of Works and Housing said the bridge had to be closed after a serious failure on the deck was noticed. The bridge was not initially part of the project to be executed this year but the deteriorating state is definitely what cannot be overlooked.
Rehabilitation work is ongoing at a section of the Eko Bridge. Worn-out bearings noticed between Alaka and Costain portion inwards Apongbon are being worked on. When the bridge was shut in March, authorities advised commuters from Agege Motor Road or Ikorodu Road to drive through Jibowu to connect Herbert Macaulay Way to Adekunle and Third Mainland Bridge towards Lagos Island or other destinations. Now, with the Third Mainland Bridge joining the league of shut bridges, the options have become slimmer.
Motorists are not the only ones facing the dearth of options. The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, believes the government, too, has run out.
“Let me say that with every sense of duty and responsibility, that safety and our ultimate common convenience underpin this decision, and if there was another way to do this, we would have taken that way but regrettably as you have heard, there’s really no other way,” The Minister said.
Meanwhile, the volatility of Lagos roads cannot solely be blamed on the mega potholes which have now been expanded by the rains; it only takes one or two broken-down trucks at a focal point for the whole city centre to be on go-slow mode – a nightmare motorists confront frequently.
So, almost unarguably, for the next six months, commuters, especially those trying to connect both ‘Lagoses’, should be ready to dig in for that extra perseverance.
The Federal Government says the Third Mainland Bridge will be closed on Friday at midnight and will not be reopened until January 2021.
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who confirmed this at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, called on motorists in Lagos to be patient with the repairs.
Mr Fashola explained that the maintenance of the busiest bridge in the country was aimed at replacing damaged components for a better motoring experience. The maintenance is to be carried out on a length of 3.5 kilometres out of the 11.8 kilometres of the bridge.
The planned duration of the closure and the importance of the bridge to activities in Lagos which has battled traffic for years has led to concerns.
Mr Fashola acknowledged that the closure will lead to hardship in the short term but explained that there was no other way to carry out the maintenance work without closing the bridge.
He added that it was better to bear six months of work and closure than to allow the bridge to collapse, a development that would take years to fix.
The Federal Government and Lagos State Government have sought the cooperation of motorists and residents on the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge which would last six months.
Ahead of the closure of the bridge for maintenance work and expected to commence on July 24, the governments urged them to cooperate with the appropriate agencies.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola; Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde; and Special Adviser to the Governor on Works, Aramide Adeyoye, made the appeal on Tuesday at a press conference in Lagos.
They gave an assurance that the governments would put in place necessary measures to reduce gridlocks during the period.
In his remarks, Popoola explained that there would be a diversion of traffic in two phases during the partial closure of the bridge between July 24 and January 24, 2021.
He noted that Phase One of the diversion would last three months for repairs of the Oworonsoki bound lane of the bridge.
According to the federal controller, the first stage will be for morning traffic from 12:00am to 1:00pm from Oworonshoki to Lagos Island on the Lagos Island-bound lane, while the afternoon traffic from 1:00pm to 12:00am will be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Lagos Island-bound lane.
He added that the Phase Two of the diversion for the repair of the Lagos Island-bound lane of the Third Mainland Bridge would be for morning traffic from 12:00am to 1:00pm from Oworonsoki to Lagos Island on the Oworonsoki bound lane.
Popoola stated that the afternoon traffic from 1:00pm to 12:00am would be from Lagos Island to Oworonsoki on the Oworonsoki bound lane.
He said the government was aware of the inconveniences the maintenance of the bridge might cause motorists, promising that appropriate agencies for traffic control would direct and help traffic movement in the affected areas and alternative routes.
“Motorists are advised to also ply these alternative routes: First, from Carter Bridge through Iddo through Oyingbo to join Adekunle ramp inward Oworonsoki. Secondly, from Ijora Olopa through Western Avenue to Ikorodu Road,” the federal controller said.
On his part, Oladeinde said priority would be given to those driving from Mainland to the Island in the morning and afternoon to use the Third Mainland while those driving against traffic would use the alternative routes.
He assured motorists that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would work with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in all the alternative routes to ensure they have a smooth journey during the partial closure of the bridge.
While stressing the need for the reduction of vehicles on the road during the partial closure of the bridge, the commissioner advised that those who don’t have any genuine reason to be on the road should stay at home.
He disclosed that there would be an increase in the number of public vehicles for people to leave there vehicles at home to make the road less congested, adding that the public vehicles would be available and affordable for road users.
Oladeinde said, “If you don’t have to travel, I will advise that you stay at home so that we can minimise the number of vehicles on the road.
“If you can work at home, please do; but if you can’t, we will ensure we will be on the road for you to get to your destination as quickly as possible.”
The commissioner also advised residents to use alternative transport such as ferries, saying the Lagos Ferry Services would increase the number of fleets in the morning for people from Ikorodu and Mile 2, as alternative means of transport.
Adeyoye, on her part, thanked the Federal Government for bringing the repair of Third Mainland Bridge on board.
She stated that the state government had commenced necessary preparatory works on all the alternative routes in the state to make them motorable for the commuters.
The governor’s aide added that Lagos would do its best within two works to work on all the roads that may likely cause gridlocks to be free of potholes.
She, however, warned trucks and vehicles not road worthy or serviceable to stay away from Lagos roads.
His mother told Channels Television in an exclusive interview that it has been five days since the story broke, and she is appealing to the government to help her find her son.
According to her, Toju has no history of depression or drug use; he had just finished studying quantity survey from the University of Lagos and was looking forward to his NYSC and then his master’s degree studies in Canada.
His family is calling for any information from security agencies so they can have some closure on the incident.
A Special Adviser to the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has called for calm from Lagos residents over a video of the Third Mainland bridge showing a weak portion on one of its expansion joints.
Hakeem Bello insisted that there is no cause for alarm and the joint is one of those slated for change during the repairs to the bridge which is expected to commence soon.