14th February, 2021
By Grace Alegba/Lagos
Minister of works and housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has reneged on opening fully the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, for traffic on 15 February.
According of the works ministry, the bridge will now be opened at the end of the month, almost two weeks after Fashola’s date.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola Sunday said the bridge would experience one more total closure from Feb. 19 to 21 before completion of the project, for the final re-opening by the end of February.
“Third Mainland Bridge will no longer be opened on the 15th of February 2021 as announced earlier on.
“In order not to create untold hardship for the motoring public using the Third Mainland Bridge for their daily activities, the contractor is not allowed to close the Third Mainland Bridge during the week to cast concrete.
“Lane markings on the completed section must be completed,’’ he said.
“The Federal Ministry of works and Housing regret the inconveniences the extra days may have caused the Lagosians,’’ he said.
Popoola explained that the bridge would be totally shut down from midnight on Feb. 19 to 21st to cast concrete on the last expansion joint.
He said that the concrete would require between three to four days to set before the final preparations to finally re-open the entire bridge to traffic.
These processes, he said, could drag to the end of February when the highway would eventually be opened up.
“We are looking at the end of the month for the reopening of the bridge. That is, end of this February.
He said that work will soon begin on the casting of the last expansion joint on the bridge before the bridge finally reopens to traffic.
“They will cast concrete on the last expansion joint next week end. We are not allowed to cast during the week so that the traffic will not be too much for people going to work.
“They will cast next weekend and after casting, we need about three or four days to do post tensioning. That is why we are looking at end of February completion.
“Casting will be done next weekend for the last expansion joint, it will require total closure of the bridge next weekend just to prevent vibration.
“So if we close the bridge Friday night, then we cast on Saturday by Sunday we will open it. That will be the last total closure to fix the last expansion joint,’’ he said,’’ he told NAN.
The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, which has been going through series of repairs, had to be partially shut on July 24 for another round of rehabilitation works.
The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
The bridge starts from Oworonshoki, which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island.
Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged as the longest in Africa until 1996 when the Oct. 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed.