On Sunday, the Federal Works Controller in Lagos, Kayode Popoola, said the government had started a “systematic maintenance of all bridges in Lagos’ to ensure smooth runs and safety.
Mr Popoola said the government had a schedule this year to fix all bridges in Lagos State in batches as funds were made available.
“We have plans for maintenance of all bridges in Lagos state this year, our prayer is that the COVID-19 pandemic should come to an end so that we can swing into action.
“There is going to be systematic maintenance, we will change the rubbers of the expansion joints and any one that the metal is bad.
“We are going to replace bearings on expansion joints that are worn out, that is the systematic programme that we have this year.
“We say systematic because we cannot take all the bridges at once; for instance, we are to maintain Third Mainland Bridge, Marine Beach Bridge, Eko Bridge, Ijora 7Up Bridge, so, we are taking them one after another, ’’ he said.
He explained that funding and traffic congestion were some of the reasons why the bridges could not be shut for repairs at the same time.
“We want to schedule the maintenance,’’ he said.
He clarified that contracts were awarded for the repairs of the Third Mainland, Ijora 7Up, and Marine Beach Bridges, while Eko Bridge’s was awarded.
Speaking at the Marine Beach Bridge in Apapa that was supposed to be closed for repairs, Mr Popoola said the rehabilitation closure was still being delayed due to rainfall.
He clarified that the rains slowed down ongoing patching of all adjacent roads to the bridge to avoid gridlock, adding that flood washing off repair works.
“We will complete the repairs and close the bridge anytime this week to begin work on it, I cannot tell you if it is Monday or Tuesday but I am sure it will be this week.
“We have to ensure the adjoining roads are in good condition to take traffic before we close any part of the bridge,’’ he said.
Mr Popoola explained that drains on highways and bridges were also being cleaned to avert flooding.
“The cleaning of weep holes on Long Bridge (Lagos-Ibadan Expressway) is ongoing. Desilting of weep holes is a regular thing, that is, we open them up and clean if not, they will have all been silted up by now, silted up means that they will have been blocked by sand.
“We are also removing garbage from manholes so that all our drainages will function very well.
“We are currently cleaning manholes on Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road, Globatek (contractor) is working on it to address major problems of flooding on that road,’’ he said.
The controller appealed to Lagos residents to stop indiscriminate disposal of refuse in drains and open manholes to avert flooding.
“Lagosians should please stop dropping garbage inside the manholes. When you go there you will see used tyres, planks and all manners of rubbish. It will be difficult for flood waters to pass through to go into the canals.
“Manhole is not meant to collect garbage, people should not drop refuse in gutters and all drainage paths to allow free flow of water,’’ he said.
He lamented that vandals were stealing manhole covers but that plans were on to replace the covers with concrete that could not be easily removed.