By Perpetua Onuegbu
Abuja, Oct. 17, 2020 Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, has directed the reopening of both Eko and Marina Bridges to traffic in Lagos on Monday.
Fashola gave the directive as the ministry was expected to have concluded the first phase of repair works on the bridges in Lagos by mid-night on Sunday.
Mrs Blade Akinola, the ministry’s Spokesperson, said in a statement that the reopening followed the report by the contractor, Messrs Buildwell Plant &
Equipment Industries Limited, that the repair works on the First Phase was 100 per cent completed.
In his directives for the reopening of the Bridges, Fashola thanked Lagosians for their patience, understanding and cooperation while sections of the Bridges were closed.
He also directed that members of the public should be informed of any restrictions to traffic while
work is ongoing on the Second Phase of the project.
The minister added that while the completed section of the Eko Bridge (Lagos Island
Bound) should be reopened to traffic, work should commence immediately on the Alaka Bound side of the project.
Explaining further on the next phase of repair works on the Bridges, the Director Highways
(Bridges & Designs) in the ministry, Mr Emmanuel Adeoye, said work was taking off without the need for either partial or complete closure of the Bridges.
Fashola, however, added that the public would be informed adequately should such a step become necessary.
The 1,350 metre Eko Bridge, built in phases between 1965 and 1975, links the Lagos Island to the Mainland.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the bridge was scheduled for closure to traffic in March 2020 in order to replace faulty joints and bearings.
But, as a result of COVID-19 lockdown, actual repair works commenced in the first week of June.
Work commenced in May on the first of the three phases in which repair works on the Marine Bridge was divided.
The repairs on the bridge, which is part of a network of complex bridges with several loops taking traffic in and out of the Apapa area of Lagos, included jacketing and skin repairs of the piers.
It also includes lifting the bridge section deck in order to change the electrometric bearing, milling and placing a new wearing course of asphalt
NAN also reports that the repair works on the Eko and Marine Bridges is part of the ongoing Federal Government’s Bridge Maintenance Programme.
The maintenance involves the repairs and rehabilitation of over 37 bridges nationwide with a substantial number already completed while others are at different stages of completion.
By Perpetua Onuegbu