The Federal Government on Tuesday announced alternative routes in the wake of the proposed plan to partially close the Third Mainland Bridge.
It is recalled the Federal government through the Federal Ministry of Works had announced the bridge would be partially closed for six months beginning July 24.
While addressing journalists on measures to be taken to ensure a free flow of traffic, the Federal Controller of Works, Olukayode Popoola, said beginning July 24, the bridge would be closed between 12 am to 1 pm from the Lagos Island end of the bridge inward Oworoshonki, while motorists coming from the Mainland to Island would be allowed to use the other side of the bridge.
He added between the hours of 1 pm and 12 am, the bridge would also be closed from Oworonshoki end inward Island while the other side of the bridge would be opened to motorists coming from Island to the Mainland. According to him, this arrangement would go on for an initial three months, while it would be changed for another three months.
“The last routes for the Third Mainland Bridge was maintained was 2012, making it eight years. The Federal Government wants to replace the bearings and the expansion joints. We know the partial closure will bring discomfort but this is the right thing to do. We don’t want the bridge to collapse. The contract was awarded in 2018 but the order was placed for the components because they are not produced in Nigeria,” Olukayode said.
On the alternative routes, Olukayode said motorists could use the Ido-Oyingbo route passing through the Carter Bridge, Ijora through Western Avenue.
Other routes are Ozumba Mbadiwe through Ahmadu Bello Way, Bonny Camp to Zone Police Command to Eko Bridge, and Funsho Williams Avenue.
Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, Frederick Oladehinde said the arrangement was made taking into consideration hours of heavy traffic and advised: “if you don’t have to travel, I will advise you stay at home so we can minimize traffic.”
He also advised Lagosians to make use of the waterways, adding more public transport buses would be provided by the state government so as to discourage people from traveling in their personal cars.
In her contributions, the Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye said the state government would embark on repairing of alternative routes to ease traffic.
“These repairs are long-awaited and we appreciate the federal government for doing this. As a state, we are going to make the alternative routes motorable. We have identified the areas where there are gridlocks. We urge truck owners coming to Lagos to stay away if they do not have something important to do. This is also not the time for trucks to park on the roads,” she said.