Relief for motorists as FG reopens Third Mainland Bridge 24hrs ahead of schedule
In what is clearly a pleasant surprise and commitment to duty, the Federal Government at midnight on Sunday lifted the total closure of Third Mainland Bridge, 24 hours ahead of scheduled re-opening date.
The government had, by midnight of December 25, closed the bridge totally to traffic to enable the contractor carry out a major repair work on the bridge which is undergoing major rehabilitation.
Olukayode Popoola, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, who disclosed the reopening of the bridge, had on December 22 told the motoring public that the bridge would be closed and reopened 72-hours later, from Friday, December 25 midnight to Monday, December 28 midnight.
But instead of the 72 hours, the bridge was closed totally for 48 hours, hence its reopening at the midnight of Sunday, December 27 and this was possible because, according to the controller, the contractor was able to execute the task within 48 hours, gaining 24 hours ahead of schedule.
Popoola, about a week ago, explained that the total closure of the 11.8-kilometre bridge, was to enable the contractor to cast concrete on the bridge’s expansion joints, adding that the closure was also to ensure vehicles were not on the bridge at any time while the concrete casting was going on.
“This is to prevent vibration of the bridge. If we allow vehicles to be moving on one lane, there will definitely be vibrations and the concrete will not set properly,” Popoola explained.
He stressed that the effective time and date for the closure of the bridge would be from 12:00 midnight of December 25, 2020.
“By the time the Christmas is winding down, which is 12:00 midnight, we are going to close it so that we will be able to cast the concrete on Saturday and Sunday, December 26 and 27 respectively,” he had said.
“We need about 72 hours for this concrete to set. Therefore, the reopening of the bridge will be on the mid-night of Monday, December 28,” he added.
A six-month repair work schedule on the bridge started in July 2020, targeting completion in January 2021. But the completion date has been adjusted to February 2021 as the first phase of the repair work suffered one month delay due to the nationwide EndSARS protest in October.
Third Mainland Bridge, constructed by the military government in 1990 and adjudged the longest in Africa until 1996 when the October 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed, starts from Oworonshoki, which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele interchange on Lagos Island.
Repair work on the bridge is phased into two, A and B, for three months on each carriageway, starting with the Mainland- bound carriageway on which work has been completed after four months instead of the scheduled three. Phase B where work is on-going is the Island-bound carriageway.