By Grace Alegba
Lagos – The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti on Tuesday night said that contrary to misleading media reports, “the Eko Bridge is open and not closed.’’
Kuti said this during a joint media briefing with the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye and the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde, at Alausa.
He explained that work was rather ongoing on Apongbon Bridge to replace an earlier palliative work to change the road from flexible to rigid pavement that would last longer.
“We want to correct the impression that because of the work that Eko Bridge has been shut down permanently; there is no truth in that, what we are just doing is that we are working on that stretch (Apongbon Bridge).
“It is a just a stretch of about 150 metres, and as we work, the construction area has been divided into two; while we take care of one segment, traffic is allowed to use the other segment to now enter into Eko Bridge,’’ he said.
Kuti advised motorists to use available alternative routes which include Eko, Carter and Third Mainland Bridges as repair works continue on Apongbon Bridge till Dec. 15.
He said that the repair would last till December because concrete works needed some time to “cure“ adding that, casting had already begun on the site.
“We want to correct the impression that Eko Bridge has been shut; Eko Bridge has not been shut for these repairs of Apongbon Bridge. There is just a partial closure within the axis and work is ongoing,’’ he said.
Speaking on the Third Mainland Bridge, he said it was safe and urged the public to disregard fake news and trending video spreading fears about the bridge.
He said that the trending video on the failure of the bridge was an old one which should be ignored.
Kuti said that the bridge was not designed to be static and the movement of the bridge experienced in form of vibration was normal and part of its design.
The controller said that although materials for rehabilitation of the bridge were ready, the planned maintenance works could not start because of several ongoing constructions which could compound gridlock.
“We want to inform Lagosians that the Third Mainland Bridge is safe, there is no truth in that saying that Third Mainland Bride is collapsing.
`The Federal Ministry of Works is safety conscious. We are mindful of the safety of Lagosians,’’ he said.
He said that a plan was ongoing with all traffic regulatory agencies to get the best possible traffic architecture and time right to begin routine maintenance of the bridge.
“Lagosians should go about their normal businesses, the bridge is safe,’’ he emphasised.
He listed Dorman Long, Alaka, Eko, Ojuelegba and Ijora bridges as those that had received intervention in the areas of expansion joints replacement and resurfacing.
Kuti appealed for patience of road users as several ongoing projects were bound to cause discomfort, assuring the people that government was concerned to ensure speedy completion for smooth rides.
On the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kuti said that the construction work on the Kara to Berger portion of the road would be completed and the entire bridge would be reopened to traffic on Dec. 15.
He said that the heavy rainfall slowed down the pace of work.
“Once we finish the construction work inbound Lagos from Kara, we will not close the other end of the road as planned before, we will open both sides of the road by Dec. 15.
“This will happen so that people can enjoy free flow of traffic, especially during the Yuletide; we will resume work on the other side in January,” he said.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Fredrick Oladeinde, urged road users to obey traffic rules as officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), the Special Task Force and other security agencies had been mobilised to enforce laws.
The Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, said that with the rain subsiding, massive construction works would continue across the state.
Adeyoye said that the state had also adopted some measures to ensure rains do not slow down operation again in years to come.
She said that the state was deploying new construction methods and technology, drawing from the lessons learnt from the high rainfall in 2019.