NIGERIAN ministry of works officials have told members of the public not to panic over recent images of damage to the Third mainland Bridge in Lagos saying they are aware of it and have earmarked the section for repairs.
Last week, a video showing a loose part of the bridge went viral on social media with a warning that members of the public should avoid using the facility as it is dangerous. In response, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, has said that the Third Mainland Bridge in is safe as the expansion joints being speculated to be dangerous are slated for repairs.
Hakeem Bello, the special adviser to the minister Babatunde Fashola, said: “The general public is hereby informed that the expansion joint shown in a Facebook video clip, is one of those slated for change during repairs on the Third Mainland Bridge which will commence soon. It is still functioning and our engineers and consultants have advised that it does not pose any structural danger to the bridge and it is safe for use.
“Commuters and Lagos residents will recall that the Third Mainland Bridge was shut down for a three-day investigative maintenance in August 2018. Tests done on the expansion joints called static and dynamic load tests, were to check functionality and a number of expansion joints were identified for replacement then.
“More recently, in March this year, underwater confirmatory tests preceding the repair works to be done on the bridge, were carried out on the piles to determine if there is further deterioration or not on the piles from that done in 2013. However, all the tests done preparatory to closure of the bridge to commence comprehensive maintenance works indicate that the integrity of the bridge is intact.
“Therefore, the Third Mainland Bridge is safe for use and people should desist from spreading or sharing false information on social media platforms. The expansion joints to be replaced are part of a regular bridge maintenance programme that has been neglected for decades, which the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is now addressing frontally, on many bridges nationwide.”
Initially opened in the early 1980s, the 11.8km Third Mainland Bridge was Nigeria’s showpiece infrastructural project and until 1996 was Africa’s longest bridge. In 1990, an extension was added to the bridge, enabling it to serve as a min ring road linking Lagos Island with the mainland.