The Minister of Works, Mr. David Umahi, has revealed that comprehensive rehabilitation of the 11.8-kilometre Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos will commence on November 1 and is expected to last for three months. He made this announcement during an inspection of the under-deck and lagoon sections of the bridge, as well as several other bridges in the region.
Umahi and a team of engineers, directors from the Federal Ministry of Works, and journalists undertook inspections of various key bridges in the area, including the Third Mainland, Carter, Independence, and Falomo Bridges. The deteriorating Marina shoreline and failing portions of the Five Cowries Bridge located inside Zone Two Police Headquarters in Onikan, Ijora Bridge, and Marina Bridge in Apapa were also examined.
The minister assured that the entire stretch of the Third Mainland Bridge would undergo total resurfacing with minimal disruption to road users. The repairs will primarily be carried out at night during the weekends. Umahi explained that the top surface of the bridge had undulating surfacing due to the patching of various sections, which posed safety concerns. Therefore, the decision was made to remove and relay the entire asphaltic covering, retaining only two millimetres.
According to Umahi, the three-month maintenance work on the Third Mainland Bridge is the first phase, focusing on securing the integrity and aesthetics of the upper deck components. The aesthetic aspect will involve replacing the railings and installing solar-powered lights and CCTV cameras for enhanced security. He emphasised that this work would cause minimal inconvenience to motorists, taking place only between midnight and 4 a.m. on weekends.
Due to the emergency nature of the work, more than one contractor will be engaged, with the fourth phase of the project encompassing the repair of deflected slabs, bearings, piers, and pile caps.
Umahi expressed concern that many of the bridges were approximately 60 years old and had exceeded their design lifespan, necessitating regular rehabilitation.
Additionally, the minister highlighted the deterioration of the Marina Shoreline, which posed a threat to the foundation of certain sections of the Blue Rail Line, prompting immediate protective measures.
Umahi also disclosed that, moving forward, a ten-year maintenance responsibility would be attached to projects, requiring contractors to cover repair costs if the road failed within that period. Contractors who constructed roads that failed within two years could face legal consequences as part of global efforts to prevent subpar construction.
The Third Mainland Bridge had previously undergone a 24-hour closure for emergency resurfacing of certain deteriorated portions, from midnight on October 21 to midnight on October 22.