Rehabilitation of Eko Bridges to start in Batches.
The burnt section of Akpongbon Bridge and the failed portions of Eko Bridge are to be rehabilitated in phases, Buildwell Plants and Equipment Industries Limited, the contractor working on these bridges, has said.
George Mhanna, managing director of the contracting firm, who disclosed this during an inspection of the burnt bridge by Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, added that the rehabilitation would start from the worst sections.
Fashola, who later addressed a press conference on the planned rehabilitation of some bridges in Lagos, including Eko and Akpongbon, said “the colossal damage of Apongbon Bridge is being addressed by the contractors.”
The minister appealed for stakeholders’ understanding over issues that may arise from rehabilitation work on the bridges, saying that a comprehensive repair work would be carried out on the bridges.
According to him, several parts of the bridge became dilapidated due to many years of neglect, adding that the ongoing intervention would put them in place and the support of stakeholders would play a major role in executing the project.
“The ministries and the local government need to help us to create awareness for people to know that we all have roles to play during rehabilitation works. We know the problem, we know the solution, we have a plan but we need your support,” he pleaded.
At the meeting were representatives of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), transport companies, Apapa local government officials and traffic regulatory agencies. Others were top officials of the federal and Lagos State governments
Fashola also urged representatives of the truck operators to encourage their members to build truck parks while tasking them not to always resort to blackmail and threats each time issues of their misconduct were raised.
Read also: Lagos demolishes shops under burnt Apongbon Bridge
Oluropo Oyetade, director, highways, bridges and design, said 20 bearings had been replaced on the 4.1km Eko Bridge, noting that the bridge, which links Lagos Mainland with the Island, has 12 ramps.
“We have 1,732 bridges nationwide, from which Lagos has 105 and fourth in ranking after Taraba, Niger and Cross River. Out of 105 bridges, we have intervened in 23, with 10 completed, 11 on-going and two new contracts in the 2022 budget. The new ones are Carter Bridge and Iganmu,” he said.
He recalled that the first phase of emergency repair of Eko Bridge was carried out in June 2020, during which another set of defects were noticed which, according to him, informed the award of Phase II in September 2020.
“Again, more defects showed up and the Minister now directed a holistic review of the bridge. These took all directors of Highways months to accomplish and culminated in the award of comprehensive maintenance of Eko Bridge in February 2022,” he added.
Meanwhile, Babajide Sanwolu, Lagos State governor, who was represented by Oloshago Kamal, permanent secretary in the state’s ministry of transportation, promised collaboration for speedy completion of the rehabilitation work.