To end recurring accidents occasioned by potholes on the Third Mainland Bridge, the Federal Government in collaboration with the Lagos State Government will next week commence remedial repair works on bad portions of the bridge.
Specifically, the bridge will be closed on two consecutive Sundays, September 17 and 24, for the remedial works to be carried out by the state Government, through the Lagos Public Works Corporation, LPWC, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works.
Motorists have continued to lament the bad state of the bridge, which has potholes on many parts, which have been causing accidents.
While modalities by the state government for the construction of the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge have reached advanced stage, residents are of the opinion that the Third Mainland Bridge has been overstretched.
Confirming the planned rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge to be carried out in phases staring from next week, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Abdulhafiz Toriola, said it will allow for unhindered rehabilitation works as traffic would be diverted during construction to ensure early completion of the work.
Toriola, who announced this, yesterday, added that the work would take place on Sunday 17 and Sunday 24, September, 2023 between the hours of 7.00 am and 7.00 pm each Sunday.
“The proposed works will be strictly executed in two phases with phase one focusing on only the most critical sections on the Iyana-Oworonsoki inward Adeniji Adele/Lagos Island,” he said.
Toriola explained that the palliative works were scheduled for Sundays to minimize inconveniences for motorists.
Consequently, the state government released travel advisory to ensure seamless movement of traffic.
Toriola, therefore, advised motorists to ply the following alternative routes during the rehabilitation works.
Route 1: The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Alapere/Ogudu axis, inwards Lagos Island, will be diverted towards Gbagada-Oshodi Expressway to link Ikorodu Road/Funsho Williams Avenue to access Eko Bridge and Lagos Island.
Route 2: Motorists from Lagos Mainland going through Herbert Macaulay Road (Adekunle axis) inwards Lagos Island via Third Mainland Bridge will be diverted towards Murtala Muhammed Way to make use of Carter Bridge to link Lagos Island.
He, therefore, urged motorists to be patient and observe safety measures during the palliative works on the asphalt pavement of the bridge.
He added that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, officers, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, Nigeria police, and other traffic personnel would be on ground to effectively control and manage traffic.
He said: “We assure that despite the traffic impact on the alternative routes, LASTMA will be deployed to minimize inconveniences and ease movement along the affected corridors.
“Various traffic agencies involved, in conjunction with other security and safety personnel to form good synergy, will ensure appropriate traffic management measures aimed at improving the safety and flow of traffic, reducing traffic emissions and utilising traffic artery capacity more effectively throughout the duration of the exercise.”
Meanwhile, motorists plying the ever-busy 11.8km Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, second longest in Africa decried the poor state of some sections of the bridge.
The bridge starts from the Oworonsoki axis of the Mainland, ending at the Adeniji Adele Interchange axis on Lagos Island.
The potholes are visible on the Oworonsoki to Adekunle section and continue while approaching Adeniji-Adele junction to Sura area of the bridge.
On the flip side of the bridge, the potholes start from Adekunle to Oworonsoki end.
Some of the motorists narrated their daily ordeals on the bridge with a call to the governments for help.
Mr Ade Olabisi, an Uber driver, said: “I started this commercial transportation business two years ago after I lost my job in a private employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most times I run through Ajah and Mainland. Due to the bad spots, I have lost over three tyres within the last six months when I bumped into potholes. But I thank God. It could have been fatal if I was on high speed.
“I beg the Federal and state governments to fix these potholes in the interest of the public and save people from avoidable deaths.
Another motorist, Mrs Florence Nwosu, who works on the Island, said: “I was on my way to the office one wet morning when my car bumped into one of the potholes. I struggled to maintain balance afterward.
“As I was approaching the Adekunle end my steering gradually became stiff with a suspicious sound coming from the bonnet. Fortunately, I was close to where some Rapid Response Squad, RRS, of the Lagos State Police Command usually stationed.
“I opened the bonnet only to discover that my alternator belt had torn and pulled off from the roller making the steering to be stiff. This was apparently as a result of the car bumping into the pothole. I had to call my mechanic on the Island to come and fix it, while I sought protection with the RRS men as some miscreants appeared from nowhere looking for the owner of the vehicle.
Another motorist, Mr. Ifeanyi Alozie, who is a trader on the Island, said: “Motorists are always on high speed on the bridge despite many potholes. This often results in fatal accidents.
“There was a particular accident that happened right in my front few weeks ago. The owner of the Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, on top speed ran into one of the potholes and lost control hitting the side railing of the bridge. He also had his air bag ruptured in the process. This is a weekly occurrence on the bridge.
“Governments should ensure provision and maintenance of basic infrastructure like roads and bridges, such as this. We are begging.”
Mr. Mohammed Seidu, a businessman, lamented the poor state of the bridge, expressing his fear and plight while driving on the axis.
His words: “Despite several rehabilitation works there are many bad portions on the bridge which have posed threat to lives. Most of these government officials do drive on this bridge. I wonder why they have decided to ignore it. A stitch in time saves nine, according to a wise saying.”