The federal government will from midnight Friday enforce a partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos State, for scheduled rehabilitation work to ensure that the major transportation facility does not collapse completely.
It was learnt that the replacement of damaged bars, hydro-demolition of all non-firm parts and lifting of two of the bridge spans, will take a large portion of the work which is expected to last from July 2020 to January 2021.
Others are anti-rust treatment of exposed bars, replacement of 14 damaged expansion joints and other auxiliary works to make the bridge safer for commuters.
Though works on the important bridge, considered the busiest in the country with a total traffic of 132,702 vehicles per day, is expected to impact movement in and around the city, the federal government noted that road traffic managers will be deployed to minimise chaos.
The Minister of Works and Housing , Mr Babatunde Fashola, while briefing journalists in Abuja on the proposed maintenance of the bridge, said that the rehabilitation work will be carried out on a length of 3.5 kilometres out of the 11.8-kilometre bridge.
According to him, the rehabilitation of the bridge became imperative due to failing and damaged portions, adding that the government cannot afford to rebuild the bridge if allowed to collapse.
Fashola explained that the bridge, which links the Lagos Island with Lagos Mainland, was among the facilities designated for maintenance after a comprehensive assessment of the 37 bridges across the country.
The minister, while acknowledging that the closure of the bridge will bring some hardship on Nigerians, stressed that there was no other way to carry out the maintenance work without closing it partially.Thisday