Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, ordered the reopening of the Eko and Marina bridges to traffic in Lagos on Monday.
Fashola gave the directive as the ministry was expected to have completed the first phase of repair work on the bridges in Lagos by midnight Sunday.
Ms Blade Akinola, a ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement that the reopening followed a report from the contractor, Messrs. Buildwell Plant &
Equipment Industries Limited, that the repair work in Phase One was 100% complete.
In his guidelines for the reopening of the bridges, Fashola thanked the people of Lagos for their patience, understanding and cooperation as sections of the bridges were closed.
It also mandated that members of the public must be informed of any traffic restrictions while working on Phase II of the project.
The minister added that although the completed section of the Eko Bridge (Lagos Island
Bound) should be reopened to traffic, work should begin immediately on the Alaka Bound side of the project.
In further explaining the next phase of repair work on the bridges, the ministry’s director of roads (bridges and designs), Emmanuel Adeoye, said work was taking off without the need for a partial or full closure of the bridges.
Fashola, however, added that the public would be properly informed should such a step be necessary.
The 1,350-meter Eko Bridge, built in phases between 1965 and 1975, links Lagos Island with the mainland.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) recalls that the bridge was scheduled to close to traffic in March 2020 in order to replace faulty joints and bearings.
But, as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the actual repair work began in the first week of June.
In May, work began on the first of the three phases into which the repair works for the Marine Bridge were divided.
Repairs to the bridge, which is part of a network of complex multi-loop bridges that take traffic in and out of the Apapa area of Lagos, included cladding and skin repairs of the piers.
It also includes lifting the deck from the bridge section to change the electrometric bearing, milling, and placing a new wear layer of asphalt.
NAN also reports that the repair work on the Eko and Marine bridges is part of the federal government’s ongoing bridge maintenance program.
Maintenance involves the repair and rehabilitation of more than 37 bridges across the country and a considerable number are already completed, while others are in different stages of completion.