The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to shut down Third Mainland Bridge for maintenance work from Friday midnight July 24, 2020 to January 23, 2021. The 11.8 km bridge which has gone through series of rehabilitation works was last closed for repairs in August 2018 for 3 days of investigative maintenance check.
The minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced this at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday. In a statement to journalists, he said that between 2015 and 2019, the government undertook a survey of all the bridges in Nigeria to determine their conditions and the urgency of repairs that should be done on them.
He said, “Some were critical, others were less critical and the Third Mainland Bridge is one of those bridges. At the time we estimated that we will need about N277bn to do all of that work over a period of four years.
“We didn’t get the budget that we expected, but we got something and we have started some work over the last few years. Currently, we have intervened on 37 bridges across the country, doing maintenance work and all of that.”
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 minister explained that the closure of third mainland bridge will lead to hardship in the short term but said 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. He urged motorists in Lagos to be patient with the repairs.
Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other are the Eko and Carter bridges. It was opened for use in 1990 and was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October Bridge located in Cairo was completed.