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How Lagos hoodlums looted bridge to near collapse

The Lagos Controller of Works, Engr. Bakare Umar, has narrated how some persons vandalised the Ijora-Olopa Bridge in the state, almost leading to its collapse.…

The Lagos Controller of Works, Engr. Bakare Umar, has narrated how some persons vandalised the Ijora-Olopa Bridge in the state, almost leading to its collapse.

Asa result of the situation, the Federal Government had to close the bridge and this has worsened gridlock for those connecting Lagos Mainland and the Island.

Daily Trust reports that the federal government on Wednesday directed the immediate closure of the Ijora-Olopa Bridge following the discovery that some miscreants have tampered with the major reinforcement elements of the deck from underneath, which led to the failure of a section of the Bridge along Ijora Olopa Road, beside Water Corporation, Ijora.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello, identified the failed section as the Ijora-Olopa inward Ijora-Oloye–Apapa.

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The state government through the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde in a traffic advisory said Motorists from Eko Bridge should utilize Iganmu/Sifax to access Ijora Oloye or Apapa while Motorists from Iddo heading to Ijora-Oloye/Apapa will be diverted at the intersection underpass on a contra flow to reconnect at the U-Turn inwards Ijora-Oloye or Apapa.

With the latest closure, vehicular movement has been impaired around Ijora to connect Apapa, Marina down to Lagos Island.

Parts of Eko Bridge and Apongbon Bridge are already closed to traffic over a year ago, leaving motorists to connect VI only through the Third Mainland Bridge.

One of the residents who spoke with our correspondent said, “There are three major bridges connecting Mainland to the Island in Lagos. Trailers took over Oshodi-Apapa, putting pressure on Ikorodu road through Yaba and Third Mainland Bridge. Now Ijora-Olopa is closed.”

A Twitter user, Michael, said the closure of the bridge in addition to the existing Eko Bridge closure has created more problems for road users connecting Island from the Mainland.

In a chat with our correspondent, Engr Umar said the damage done to the bridge was extensive and it would take some time before it would be reopened.

According to him, engineers are currently examining the bridge to assess the extent of the damage.

He said, “We need to understand what actually happened that resulted in the failure of the bridge. Some miscreants went under the bridge and cut off all the reinforcements holding the deck-in-place thereby causing it to cave in. it is an extensive thing that they did.

“I can say that we were just lucky that only a very small part of it just caved in and we are happy it did not result in any fatality.

“We have involved our contractors who are examining the extent of the damage and they are trying to see the extent of the damage and the damage to other bridges around that area. After this, there would be a design to replace the sections that have been damaged. I must tell you this will take some time. This is reconstruction because we have to prick off the concrete that has been damaged because of the removal of the reinforcement.”

“It is unfortunate, a very terrible incident that some people could go under the bridge, break off the concrete cover and begin to cut the iron rods to go and sell as scraps, that is what has resulted into that closure.”

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