Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has directed that both Eko and Marine Bridges in Lagos State be reopened to traffic starting from Monday (October 19).
The minister, who issued the directives over the weekend after completing urgently needed repair works on the bridges, thanked Lagosians for their resilience, patience, understanding and cooperation while sections of the both bridges were closed.
Fashola’s approval for the reopening of the completed first phase of the repairs on the bridges by midnight of October 18 was sequel to the report by the contractor handling the projects, Messrs. Buildwell Plant & Equipment Industries Limited that the emergency repair works had been completed 100 per cent.
The minister has also directed that members of the public should be well informed ahead of any restriction to traffic while work is ongoing on the second phase of the project.
Fashola added that while the completed section of Eko Bridge (Lagos Island bound) should be reopened to traffic, work should commence immediately on Alaka bound side of the project.
Giving further explanation on the next phase of repair works on the bridges, Director Highways (Bridges & Designs) in the ministry, Emmanuel Adeoye, said work was taking off without the need for either partial or complete closure of the bridges.
He, however, said the public would be informed adequately should there be any need for either partial or complete closure.
The 1,350-metre Eko Bridge, built in phases between 1965 and 1975, links Lagos Island to Mainland. It was closed to traffic in March this year in order to replace faulty joints and bearings. But, as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown, actual repair works commenced in the first week of June.
For Marine Bridge, work commenced in May on the first of the three phases in which repair works on the bridge was divided. The repairs on the bridge, which is part of a network of complex bridges with several loops taking traffic in and out of Apapa area of Lagos, included jacketing and skin repairs of the piers, lifting the bridge section deck in order to change the electrometric bearing, milling and placing a new wearing course of asphalt among others.
Essentially, the repair works on Eko and Marine Bridges were part of the ongoing Federal Government’s Bridge Maintenance Programme which involves the repairs and rehabilitation of over 37 bridges nationwide with a substantial number already completed, while others are at different stages of completion, said a statement by the ministry’s Director of Press and Publicity, Boade Akinola.