As govt begins repair works on Lagos 3rd mainland bridge, commuters brace up for traffic pains
As the federal government official begin repair works on the Lagos third mainland bridge middle night on Friday, the Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has appealed for patience from motorists and commuters plying the route.
The longest and busiest bridge in the country is expected to be partially close for six-month to effect major repairs on the Bridge, which is expected to cause major disruption to traffic management in the state known for excruciating traffic snarl.
Many commuters on the route, especially those who work in the Island and live in the mainland are expected to face more traffic pains and they may have to adjust their travel time backward to make room for the long traffic on the bridge.
Sanwo-Olu said the closure of the 11.8km bridge was inevitable, following physical deterioration observed on the structure after an integrity test conducted by the Federal Government.
According to him, the closure of the bridge will bring about pain but assured that men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would constantly be on the road with their Federal counterparts to ensure seamless movement of vehicles during the period.
The governor who spoke while hosting the new Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Lagos, Olusegun Ogungbemide, noted that the government had carried out improvement work on alternative routes mapped out for diversions while observing that vehicular movements on the Third Mainland Bridge would be disrupted by 25 percent of its regular traffic.
“The partial closure of Third Mainland Bridge is not something that everybody should worry about because this is an exercise that had been done before. For emphasis, the traffic disruption is only about 25 percent of the regular traffic on the bridge. The 75 percent of vehicles that normally ply the route will still have access to move on the bridge during the period of repair.
“We have furnished and improved the design of the alternative routes, and we are still working on other arterial routes so that our people can have seamless journey times to and from their places of work. So, there is nothing commuters should worry about in this period. We will ensure the repair work on Third Mainland Bridge does not overburden them. We will be deploying over 650 LASTMA officers on the road to control the traffic,” the governor said.
In the period of closure, the Governor said a lane of the bridge would be opened to traffic for vehicles driving inward Lagos Island in the morning, while other lanes would be shut. The reverse would be done for vehicle driving inward Mainland in the afternoon, while other will be shut.
To further assuage the discomfort that may be experienced by commuters and ease the roads of gridlock, Sanwo-Olu said the State had strengthened the State-owned Lagos Ferry Service (LAGFERRY) by doubling its capacity for mass movement, thereby giving the residents an alternative through water transportation.
“We are also urging the commuters to explore the option of waterways in their journey. The jetty built in Ilaje area of Bariga has been activated and we are deploying more speedboats to raise the capacity of our ferry service. This is to ensure that many people are not on road at the same time.”