• Sunday, May 26, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

To curb illegal mining, FG to install CCTV on Third Mainland Bridge by June

third mainland bridge

The federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to install closed-circuit television and solar lights on the third mainland bridge in Lagos by June, 2024.

The announcement was made by David Umahi, the Minister of Works following an inspection of the under-deck project contracted to Julius Berger at the Third Mainland Bridge, Iddo Bridge and Carter Bridge.

“We have seen the pace of work made and are happy with it, also we have promised to increase the pace of work against the incoming lagoon tide in June,” he said.

“On top of the bridges, we have almost finished the deck job, though we are extending the deck job, and then we are also constructing CCTV and observation room. Below the deck, we are working on the piers, and then, we now see the pier caps. These are the works that are going on under the deck,” the minister added.

Illegal sand mining

The decision to install the CCTV can be traced to the activities of illegal sand miners that contribute to erosion below deck.

“Like I have always said the piles are being held by the skin friction of the sand, of which some of these sands have been eroded over the years, and illegal mining also contributed to the eroding of the piles,” Umahi said.

“Some of the piles have rusted which has gotten to the concrete piles, and some of the reinforcements of the concrete piles are exposed. In 2013, there was an examination of all the piles of the Third Mainland Bridge, in 2014, there was a repeat, but about 40 percent, and so we are procuring consultants together with Julius Berger to look at what is going on there. In addition, we are working with Berger and other international companies on how to design the remedy,” he added.

The minister acknowledged that there are no solar lights on Carter Bridge, one of three bridges connecting Lagos island to the mainland but assured of intentions to replicate renovations to the Third Mainland Bridge in other bridges in Lagos and all over the country “as much as budgetary provisions would allow.”

“We have considered 18 bridges, what we are doing here, we are doing at the Murtala Mohammed in Kogi State, there are a number of bridges that are ongoing, some collapsed on the expressway, some collapsed on Enugu-Port Harcourt, some collapsed between Jos and Benue, we have gone very far in all these bridges, and we have gone very far on them following the directive from the president.”