After Guzzling Over N7bn, Third Mainland Bridge Still In The Works

The Lagos Third Mainland Bridge, one of the most important infrastructure facilities in Nigeria’s commercial capital, has gulped billions of naira in an attempt to maintain its structural integrity and make it safe for the millions of road users in the state.

The bridge, which spans 11.8 km, is the third of the three bridges that connect the Mainland to the Island, with the first and second being Carter Bridge and Eko Bridge respectively.

Despite the existence of Eko and Carter bridges, residents say the Third Mainland Bridge, which was the longest bridge in Africa, until 1996 when the 6 October Bridge in Egypt was opened, remains the easiest bridge to connect the Island, especially for motorists coming from Ikeja and Ikorodu axes of Lagos State.

This is why residents continue to lament the inconveniences that come with shutting down the bridge for any repair or maintenance work, including the ongoing repair works by the federal government.

Until now, the Third Mainland Bridge has not undergone any major repair work, following which residents say it continued to deteriorate to the point of almost becoming a death trap.

Experts say the haphazard maintenance of the road, despite the release of billions of naira spent, as well as poor quality of materials, corrosion, overloading and vandalism, have continued to make it a source of concern.

Serving an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 vehicles on weekdays and 3,000 to 5,000 vehicles on weekends, the federal government had in January announced an advisory to commuters to use alternate routes as it commenced repair works on the Iyana Oworonshoki-Adeniji Adele bound of the Third Mainland Bridge.

Currently, the federal government has completed the Lagos Island bound section of the bridge while work on the outbound section is ongoing.

However, this report by Daily Trust on Sunday shows that the bridge, which cost about N1 billion to construct, has in the last four years gulped more than six times the amount on repair works.

The federal government had, between 2019 and 2022, allocated for its rehabilitation, and claimed it released N6.4bn out of the approved sum. Findings from this report, however, reveal a gap of N5.4bn, which appears unaccounted for.

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Ifah Sunday Ele
Ifah Sunday Ele
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