Former Lagos state governor and Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola stated yesterday, that some pillars and beams of the Third Mainland Bridge are at risk by sand-filling, erosion and other human activities.
Fashola also disclosed that Federal Government has budgeted N270 billion to repair 50 bridges across the country.
Overhaul of the bridges, maintenance, repairs and restoration, will take three years to complete, he added.
Fashola said this while inspecting the rehabilitation of Lagos Ring Road bridge abutment and approach to the Third Mainland Bridge project, in Lagos, yesterday.
He told newsmen that some columns and beams of the Third Mainland bridge were threatened because of human activities, sand filling and ecological factors which resulted in erosion.
“The work we have come to inspect was awarded some years back when there was indication of some mis-alignments here on the Lagos Outer Ring Road which is the beginning of what leads on to the Third Mainland Bridge itself.
“And, it is being caused by erosion, sand filling and other activities. This road has moved as a result of some sub-soil displacement,’’ the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotedFashola as saying.
He said that the project, which was slowed down by funding would be completed in November and added that many of the bridges in Lagos and across the country had suffered neglect and had not undergone routine maintenance.
“Many of the bridges we built in the country over the last four, five decades have not been under any form of maintenance. We now have a three-year plan for over 50 bridges across the country for maintenance, repairs and restoration. And, it is going to cost about N270 billion, over three years.
“Our plan is to start with about N70 billion to N100 billion in year one; starting with the very critical ones so that they do not collapse and then, we move to the less critical ones,’’ he said.
He decried indiscriminate parking and trading activities in some parts of Ebute Ero toward the Third Mainland Bridge.
“I want to appeal to those people who use those areas as car parks and trading to start moving voluntarily in their own best interest. We intend to repose our right of way while work is going on on the Outer Marina, to free traffic,’’ he said.
Earlier, while receiving a brief from the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Mr Godwin Eke, on the status of other bridges, the minister directed engineers to begin work to realign the Apongbon bridge.
Joint Managing Director, Boroni Prono and Co Nig. Ltd- contractors of the project, Gianfranco Albertazzi, told newsmen that some piers, alignment and decks and piles of the bridge were affected. “I have pictures of the affected columns here. They were enlarged but, we have strengthened them by another layer of steel and concrete,’’ Albertazzi said.
He said that a new kind of cement that dealt with the problem of salinity of both air and water was being used to reduce degeneration of the bridge.
The project was awarded in December 2012 at a sum of N967.3 million