The Third Mainland Bridge, longest bridges in Nigeria and one of the top three in Africa that connects Lagos Island to the mainland areas will be temporarily closed from 12 midnight today till Sunday, August 26th, 2018.
This is to enable test assessments on the level of the bridge, which is one of the most strategic and economic linking Lagos Island and Victoria Island, the Headquarters of the Nigerian financial and capital market with other parts of the country.
As the closure begins here are five (5) things to note;
Maintenance Test, Very Necessary
The temporary closure of the 11.8km total length Third Mainland Bridge is necessary considering the need for tests and assessment by contractors on the level of the infrastructure.
Since its commissioning in 1990, there has been consistent need to ensure that the critical link bridge, serves its purpose with effective maintenance repairs.
The recent Genoa Bridge collapse in Italy, that claimed over 40 lives brings to the fore the essence of not compromising an assessment test of the Third Mainland Bridge.
Coordinated Effort in Traffic Diversion
According to the Commissioner of Works Mr Ade Akinsanya all traffic management agencies including the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety (FRSC) and the Police force, among others have been mandated to ensure smooth and uninterrupted flow of traffic on all the other alternative roads and traffic corridors across the metropolis during the closure.
It is expected that there will be coordinated efforts in ensuring traffic diversions through the alternative routes like the Ikorodu road the Carter bridge axis.
The Need to Boost Waterways Transportation
With the temporary closure of the Third Mainland Bridge, the need to drive Waterways transportation in Lagos state becomes critical in the State. It will serve as a viable alternative for transportation.
The Lagos State government in this regard should step up the construction and development of jetties and provide an enabling environment for private sector players, who seek to invest in waterways transport.
Cooperation Between FG and Lagos State
The planned assessment and test measures for the Third Mainland Bridge calls for increased cooperation between the Federal Ministry of Power Works & Housing and the Lagos State Ministry of Works. This is in the area of capacity, technical assistance and analysis.
Robust Plan for Eventual Closure and Repair of Third Mainland Bridge
From the tests to be carried out on the Third Mainland Bridge between August 23-26, 2018 the contractors will ascertain the timeline for full repairs and maintenance work on the bridge, and this informs the need for proactive steps and measures to manage the alternative routes.
It may require 6, 12 or even 18 months or more in terms of the timeline for the repair of the bridge.
This will require a multi-stakeholder effort that will guarantees safety, security and ease of access from the mainland to Lagos Island, Lekki down to the Epe axis.