• Saturday, May 18, 2024
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BusinessDay

Apapa: Reprieve for motorists as Marine Beach Bridge rehabilitation nears completion, sets for opening

Lagos closes Marine Bridge for repair works from Monday, Jan. 17

For motorists on the Marine Beach Bridge in Apapa, who have endured worse traffic situation as a result of the partial closure of the bridge for rehabilitation, reprieve is now on the way as the rehabilitation work on the in-bound lane is almost completed.

Kayode Popoola, Federal Controller of Works in Lagos confirmed to BusinessDay on Thursday that the rehabilitation work was nearing completion, adding that, contrary to earlier media report that the bridge would be open to traffic next week, there was no definite time yet for opening the bridge.

“We don’t have a definite time yet when to open the bridge to traffic, but we are a lot closer than before. We will tell you when the bridge will be opened, but no definite date yet,” the controller emphasized, noting that the contractor was still working.

Adedamola Kuti, Director, Federal Highways, South West Zone, affirmed that the rehabilitation work was nearing completion, adding, “we are well disposed to opening the bridge to traffic, but no definite date yet because work is still on-going.”

“When you don’t see the workers on the bridge, it does not mean they have gone on holiday; no, they may be working under the bridge or in their construction yard. That is what is happening on the Alaka Bridge too. The contractor is working but people are not noticing it,” he added.

In the past five months, the contractor, Buildwell Plants and Equipment Industries Limited, has been carrying out rehabilitation work on the failed portion of the Marine Beach Bridge measuring 250 metres which has been closed since April, making driving experience on the bridge a huge dish of stress.

Popoola had disclosed to journalist during a tour of the facility that 10 expansion joints and 60 bearings were to be replaced with asphalting on the 250 metres stretch under rehabilitation.

When BusinessDay visited the project site on Thursday, it was observed that the replacement of the joints and bearings along with the final asphalting had been completed, actually raising hope of opening the bridge sooner than could be imagined.

“The repairs are being carried out in phases and the first phase has been completed and ready to be opened to traffic. The 250 metres that we closed in April is completed. We have laid the asphalt, the remaining work now is to put the concrete to hold the expansion joint down,” Popoola said.

Another major repair work which the contractor is carrying out on the bridge is jacketing of the piers which, according to the controller, means increasing the width of the piers by putting reinforcement and then concrete.

He added that wherever they needed to do repairs, they did what he called skin repairs which is similar to the grafting of a human body. “We also do skin repairs for the piers, meaning that where the concrete is peeling, we replace it with fresh ones,” he explained.

The controller disclosed that construction would soon move to the outbound Apapa lane where the same rehabilitation process was expected to be carried out.