12th February, 2014
The Lagos State Government says it has not abandoned the N320 billion proposed 4th Mainland Bridge as being speculated as the plan leading to its actualization is ongoing.
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Kadri Hamzat stated this during a media briefing at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria on Tuesday, saying that the project, in spite of the encumbrances, represented government’s response to the need to create a ring around the state for ease of movement, adding that the Fourth Mainland Bridge is the missing link.
He disclosed that three alignment options were being proposed for the bridge construction, explaining that the options came with their own financial implications and challenge.
The commissioner said the three different alignment options for the bridge was necessitated by the dilemma of having to demolish about 318 houses to accommodate the bridge with the initial alignment.
Hamzat added that the major challenge hindering the execution of the project was the consideration of the alignment for the bridge and the road networks, noting that it took 18 months before contractors moved to site to commence the construction of the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge.
“Building a bridge is not a joke; it’s not something you can do within a week or two weeks time, so there are all sorts of things that need to be on ground depending on the complexity of the bridge.
“Remember that when motorists exit the bridge, they will need an exit route. And this route will require motorist to drive through a road that will afford them to link Ijede in Ikorodu and later link Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. And the entire length of the road is about 23 kilometres.
“The bridge itself is about 3.5km, then there are different components, the road work is about 14km, so a lot of preliminary works have gone into it, including surveys. Surveyors were brought in to do a survey of the whole project; we have looked at the time line it would take to build the bridge,” he explained
According to him, “the alignment is from the Lagos Business School on Lekki-Epe Express Road when one moves 200 metres away from the school. And on the alignment, we have over 318 buildings we have identified. So we felt that we must do an analysis on it to see if we can change the alignment.”
He stated that where possible, government had tried to avoid demolition, adding that the citizen’s attitude of making purchases of land indiscriminately without verifying government’s interest was a major issue.
While explaining the current status of the project, Hamzat asserted that most of the preliminary works involving soil test, Environment Impact Assessment, survey of topography and biometric survey have been conducted, assuring that the administration would continue to engage with the people to get them buy into the project.
Stating that the proposed bridge represents more than a transportation facility, the commissioner said it would afford students of Engineering in Nigeria an opportunity to see firsthand such development.
He said that capacity building is also a core consideration in the effort at building the bridge, stressing that the era of exporting such opportunities was over.