The Federal Government will today (Tuesday) reopen the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, one week ahead of the scheduled delivery date of November 6, 2012. The government had partially closed the bridge on July 7 to enable the contractor, Messrs Boroni Prono and Company Limited, to replace eight expansion joints on the bridge for a contract sum of N1bn. The reopening of the bridge will come as a welcome relief to motorists and commuters, who have had to connect Lagos Island, Victoria Island, Lekki, Ajah and Epe from different parts of the mainland through Western Avenue due to restriction of vehicular movement on the bridge from 12 noon to 12am, while opening for movement to the mainland within the same time. The Special Adviser to the Minister of Works on Media, Mr. Tony Ikpasaja, confirmed the reopening of the bridge in a telephone conversation with our correspondent on Monday. According to him, the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, will open the rehabilitated bridge to motorists at a ceremony that will also have in attendance federal and Lagos State government officials and other stakeholders. Onolememen had said during an inspection tour of the bridge on August 10, “The inspection visit is to track the progress that the contractor has made; whether actual progress is in line with our planned programme. I am happy to announce that the physical progress in not only in line with our programme, but there has been a gain of approximately one week, which is very commendable. “It means that if we sustain the momentum, we will be able to deliver the project ahead of the scheduled delivery date of November 6, 2012.” He had explained that the Federal Government decided to rehabilitate the bridge, which is the longest and most travelled in the country, because of its commitment to giving due attention to infrastructure in Lagos State, which he said was attracting about 53 per cent of commercial activities in the country. As parts of efforts to minimise the disruptions to free flow of traffic in the metropolis, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority had deployed 700 officers to the bridge and traffic points on the alternative routes. Officers of the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army, Federal Road Safety Corps and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps joined their LASTMA colleagues in managing the attendant traffic.
– Punch Ng