The Federal Government has carried out an impact assessment of the Apapa Bridge in Lagos and has began emergency repairs to save the dilapidated bridge.
NAN correspondents who visited the highway on Tuesday report that some steel plates and other construction materials had been laid over the portion where the concrete on the bridge has worn off.
Earth-moving equipment was being used to reconstruct a portion of the drainage channel beside the dilapidated bridge.
Also, the walkways on the Ijora/Marina-bound carriageway were being rehabilitated, creating openings through them into the drainage channel.
NAN observed that the Ijora/ Marina-bound carriageway had been scarified and covered with some construction materials.
Also, about 120 metres was scarified and laid with stone base on the service lane of the Apapa-bound carriageway.
NAN further reports that some workers were removing silt out of the drains, starting from around the diversion on the Ijora/ Marina-bound carriageway downwards to under the damaged bridge.
An official of the Federal Ministry of Works who does not want to be named told NAN that 150 metres of the road had been repaired and ready for asphalt surfacing.
Our source said that the bridge was undergoing temporary repair works, pending the completion of investigations towards commencement of the permanent repairs.
“We have put steel props under the bridge before covering it with concrete. We added additional steel plates to provide additional strength.
“Work is still ongoing to correct the problem on the bridge abutment, but the contractor is yet to submit the design for the work.
“What we are doing on the bridge is a temporary solution, the permanent work will follow later.
“Yesterday, a pundit integrity test was carried out to know the strength of the bridge; Julius Berger is also carrying out an independent investigation.
“When all the reports are submitted, we will then begin permanent repair works; for now we are trying to save the bridge,’’ the official said.
Our source explained that the ministry was using the opportunity of the ongoing repair works to correct a drainage problem on the axis.
The engineer added that about 150 metres of the portion leading towards the bridge had been scarified and laid with a stone base, as well as binder course, ready for asphalt laying.
“We are reconstructing about eight metres of the damaged drainage channel; the way the old road was designed did not allow for free- flow of water into the drainage.
“The design was for water to flow straight and it was destroying our road because water is inimical to asphalt.
“The road was always failing around here, so we are creating chutes to allow water flow freely into the channel,’’ the official said. It would be recalled that the bridge was damaged by fire.
NAN recalls that the Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, ordered the closure of the bridge on Aug. 7, “for immediate repairs’’.
An earlier inspection of the bridge by the minister on Aug. 5 had revealed that had been damaged by fire, which caused the exposure of its steel rods.
A team of engineers from the Ministry had also told the minister that the bridge’s abutment and some of its columns had been damaged.