The planned partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repair work has been slated for Sunday, July 8, 2012.
The Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda, disclosed this on Friday at the official flag-off of the repairs in Lagos.
Yuguda said that repairs would take off on Saturday, but that “traffic diversion would start on Sunday.”
The new date is coming after an initial delay, as the project was expected to have started on July 1 before it was suspended.
Yuguda however said the delay was “necessitated by torrential rains witnessed in Lagos”.
On how Lagos motorists and commuters would adjust to the new date suddenly thrown at them, the minister said the suspension was never meant to be indefinite in the first place.
Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
The planned repair works, which will last four months and end on November 5, 2012, is Phase II of similar repairs done in 2008.
Explaining the process, the General Manager of Messrs Borini Prono and Company Nigeria Ltd., handling the project, Gianfranco Albertazz, said the scope of work would involve the removal and replacement of eight defective expansion joints during the period of the
N1,055,477,608 billion contract.
But the resulting traffic congestion is perhaps the biggest concern to residents, considering the economic importance of the 11.8km bridge.
With the Island being the state’s commercial nerve centre, the livelihood of many residents, including those on the mainland, remain inadvertently tied to the connecting bridge.
It is estimated that an average of 200 cars use the bridge every minute.
The State Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, however, assured of improved traffic management compared with the situation in 2008, when four expansion joints were replaced.
During the period of repairs, traffic will be diverted from the side of the bridge under repair to its other side.
According to Opeifa, while the Lagos-bound side of the bridge is under repair, its traffic will be diverted to the outbound lanes between midnight and 12 noon, and vice versa.
He said alternatives routes like Ikorodu Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Muritala Mohammed Way have been rehabilitated to ease traffic flow.
“Also in 2008, there were 500 traffic officers; this time around, we will have 700 officers manning the roads and diversion points,” he said.
- Daily Times