5th July, 2012
The Lagos State House of Assembly has invited the management of Julius Berger and the Federal Controller of Works for Lagos State to appear before it and explain the true state of the Third Mainland Bridge. They are expected to appear before the House on Monday next week.
While Julius Berger, the construction giant which built the bridge during the Ibrahim Babangida military administration, is being invited to explain the current state of the bridge, the Federal Controller of Works is to explain why the rehabilitation of the road was postponed indefinitely.
Residents of the state were already bracing up for the challenges of the partial closure of the bridge for repairs when the government again postponed it.
Though it is not clear why the government took the decision, sources have said it was as a result of improper planning by the Federal Government on how to tackle the problem.
The motion to invite the two bodies to the House was moved by the Chief Whip of the Assembly, Razak Balogun, who drew the attention of his colleagues to the current danger posed by the bridge.
Balogun, who raised the issue under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, expressed concern that the bridge may be facing serious pressure that may lead to disaster if not quickly addressed.
Recalling that the bridge was built in 1990 when the population of the state was barely five million, Balogun said the about 12 kilometre bridge has long been due for repairs.
“I’m afraid any time I use the bridge, because I don’t even know what section of the bridge is safe.
“I did a research recently on bridges and what I heard was worrisome,” Balogun said.
He said from the research, he was able to discover that the overall structural condition of bridge is graded between 0 to above 70.
He said any bridge below 70 is not good for usage, adding that the expansion joints on the bridge were already giving way.
Corroborating, the House Committee Chairman on Works, Rotimi Olowo, expressed reservations concerning the bridge and explained that the expansions had given way to the extent that one could now see the lagoon through the holes on the bridge.
“Dana airline tragedy is still very fresh in our memory. If anything goes wrong on that bridge, we would be talking about hundreds of thousands of people,” he said, adding that though the state is prepared for the repairs, the Federal Government is still confused about how to go about it.