The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Olukayode Popoola, on Sunday, said the reopening of the Third Mainland Bridge has been shifted from Monday (tomorrow) to the end of February.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, had said the Third Mainland Bridge would be reopened by February 15 during the inspection of construction work on major roads and bridges in Lagos State in January.
The minister explained that the EndSARS protest caused the initial extension of the completion date.
Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria on the telephone that the bridge would experience one more total closure from February 19 to 21 before completion of the project for the final re-opening by the end of February.
“Third Mainland Bridge will no longer be opened on the 15th of February 2021 as announced earlier on.
“In order not to create untold hardship for the motoring public using the Third Mainland Bridge for their daily activities, the contractor is not allowed to close the Third Mainland Bridge during the week to cast concrete.
“Lane markings on the completed section must be completed,’’ he said.
“The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing regrets the inconveniences the extra days may have caused the Lagosians,’’ he said.
Popoola explained that the bridge would be totally shut down from midnight on February 19 to 21 to cast concrete on the last expansion joint.
He said that the concrete would require between three to four days to set before the final preparations to finally re-open the entire bridge to traffic.
These processes, he said, could drag to the end of February when the highway would eventually be opened up.
“We are looking at the end of the month for the reopening of the bridge. That is the end of this February,” he added.
He said that work was soon to begin on the casting of the last expansion joint on the bridge before the bridge finally reopens to traffic.
“They will cast concrete on the last expansion joint next weekend. We are not allowed to cast during the week so that the traffic will not be too much for people going to work.
“They will cast next weekend and after casting, we need about three or four days to do post-tensioning. That is why we are looking at end of February completion.
“Casting will be done next weekend for the last expansion joint, it will require total closure of the bridge next weekend just to prevent vibration.
“So if we close the bridge Friday night, then we cast on Saturday by Sunday we will open it. That will be the last total closure to fix the last expansion joint,’’ he said.
The Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, which was going through series of repairs, had to be partially shut on July 24 for another round of rehabilitation works.
Traffic was partially diverted on a stretch of 3.5km where construction is ongoing between Adeniji Adeniji Ramp and Ebute Meta, while different time belts were allotted for traffic diversions on the bridge.
The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
The bridge 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.
Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged as the longest in Africa until 1996 when the October 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed.