The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Engineer Olukayode Popoola, has allayed the fears of residents of the state over the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for a month, saying efforts are being made to lessen whatever hardship they will experience during the period.
Popoola, in a chat with Eko Trust on Tuesday, said the federal government was not unmindful of the gridlock that the partial closure would trigger but was left with no option than to close the bridge.
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The Controller had announced the closure of the bridge for repairs, which will be done in two phases, from July 24, 2020 to January 24, 2021.
However, residents in the state have expressed the fear that closing the Third Mainland Bridge when Eko Bridge and New Costain Bridge remained closed would worsen traffic gridlock.
But Popoola told Daily Trust that the federal government was not unconscious of the closure of the Eko Bridge, explaining that the contract for repair of the Third Mainland Bridge had been awarded since 2018 and would elapse by August this year.
He said the Eko Bridge project, on the other hand, was an emergency work necessitated by the shaky deck of the bridge which, he explained, had almost fallen.
“We noticed that and it is being treated as an emergency,” he said.
Popoola further explained that repair works would have been carried out during the COVID-19 lockdown but many people, including the contractors, were home with their families for fear of contracting the virus.
“The closure will be partial. We will work on one lane, while the other lane will be free for traffic. Each lane will be closed for a period of three months,” he said, adding that work was ongoing on the Ikorodu road, which would also serve as an alternative.
“There is no fear. The contractor will be working day and night. We are collaborating with law enforcement agents, including traffic officials, to provide security for us,” he added.