Apapa/Leventis Bridge reopens after two and a half years

The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has on Wednesday 6th February, 2019 reopens the Apapa/Leventis to traffic after its closure of about two and half years. The bridge was shut down for traffic to enable the contractor handling the repairs on the bridge after a portion of the bridge deck was damaged by fire.

As a result of the fire incident some of the reinforcement rods on top of the bridge’s centre were exposed as the asphalt covering them was eroded after the fire. The bridge was temporarily opened to traffic after the emergency repairs by shut again in 2017 to enable the contractor to carry out permanent repairs.

In 2018, the contractor, Julius Berger commenced the permanent repair works after the importation of some materials required for the repair work. The 40-year old Apapa/Leventis Bridge is one of the important bridges in Lagos as it links Lagos Mainland to the Lagos Island through the Apapa axis.

According to the Director Highways, South West, Funsho Adebiyi during the tape cutting ceremony said that the opening of the bridge will ease traffic on the Apapa axis of Lagos. He concluded by invoking the Trinity in opening cutting the tape by saying “It is my pleasure to open this bridge in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Today we are having a new bridge as well as a new access road. So, hopefully, gridlock will end here.”

Mr. Funsho Adebiyi  stated that government has resolved to taking drastic action against all forms of abuses that would cause damage to bridges in Lagos.

According to the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, the bridge was damaged in 2016 as a result of “activities of some miscreants living under the bridge’’ at the time the bridge was damaged. He stated that when the contractor came on board and removed the slab, that is the deck that got damaged, it was discovered that the beams carrying the weight of the slab itself had been affected by the fire. As a result of that there was no way they could go ahead with the replacement of the slab, so the contractor has to start from the beams. In doing this the contractor has to produce new distress beams before replacing the affected slabs.

Mr. Adedamola Kuti also added that the contractor was also informed carry out the surfacing of the other adjoining slab close to the damaged one. He took out time to thank residents and users of the Apapa/Leventis Bridge for their patience during the period when the bridge was closed for repairs and stated that the federal government of Nigeria is committed to the continued maintenance of all the roads and bridges in Lagos.He listed other bridges that had been repaired to include by the Federal Government  to include the Ijora 7Up Bridge, Coconut Bridge  and the Marine Beach Bridge.

According to Mr. Adedamola Kuti works which are ongoing at the moment include Third Mainland Bridge and the Alaka Bridge in Surulere. He also highlighted some of repair works on some other federal roads in the metropolis include Ikorodu-Sagamu Expressway, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the  Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway. He also informed the public that materials required for the total rehabilitation of the Third Mainland bridge had been imported and that permanent repair works would soon begin on some damaged expansion joints alongside the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge. He stated that Adeniji Adele bound has been completed and they are currently working on the Mainland bound. So the repair works on the Third Mainland Bridge will start very soon because the materials for the repairs on the bridge are on the way.

Julius Berger’s Regional Manager, Thomas Balzuweit, while speaking on the newly installed beams on the Apapa/Leventis Bridge, said that experts were used to get “a comprehensive design study to get high-quality materials“ he added that various quality control checks were done before installing the beams to ensure the structural integrity of the bridge to cater for the huge vehicular traffic on the axis.

The President, Container Truck Owners Association, Wasiu Olowuntoye, who led a delegation of truck drivers to witness the opening, said that the hardship to truck owners would be minimized by the reopening of the Apapa/Leventis Bridge. He expressed happiness by saying that the members of the Container Truck Owners Association are happy today because our they have suffered so much by spending several days and sometimes weeks trying to go in or out of the ports but with reopening of the Apapa/Leventis Bridge there will be good flow of traffic in the axis.

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