Federal Government has said the Third Mainland Bridge will be closed on Friday midnight and will not be reopened until January 2021.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who confirmed this at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, called on motorists in Lagos to be patient with the repairs.
He said that the Third Mainland bridge, which links the Lagos Island with the Lagos Mainland, is among the bridges designated for maintenance after a comprehensive assessment of 37 bridges across the country.
Fashola explained that the maintenance of the busiest bridge in the country is 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 planned duration of the closure and the importance of the bridge to activities in Lagos which has battled traffic for years has led to concerns.
Fashola acknowledged that the closure will lead to hardship in the short term but explained 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.
According to him;
The construction of the bridge spanned three decades and we cannot afford to rebuild it if we allow it totally collapse. Infrastructure must be maintained. After the work is done, we will have a better driving experience on the bridge.
Also, the Minister disclosed that N277 billion will be needed to rehabilitate all the 37 bridges across the nation.
Speaking, Director Highway Bridges and Design, Engineer Emmanuel Adeoye, stressed that the maintenance work on the bridge include the replacement of damaged bars, hydro-demolition of all non-firm parts and lifting of two of the Bridge Spans.
Others are anti-rust treatment of exposed bars, replacement of 14 damaged expansion joints and other auxiliary works that may be directed by Engineers.
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