Third Mainland Bridge to open April 4, FG assures

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Barring last minute shifts in plans or schedules, the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, which has been partially closed to traffic in the last seven weeks, will be reopened on April 4, 2024.

That will bring to an end what has been a nightmare for motorists that commute through that route to their destinations.

The Minister for Works, David Umahi, who gave the assurance on Thursday, explained that the decision to open the second lane of the bridge was to ease traffic flow and lessen the suffering of commuters.

The minister spoke at Oworonsoki end of the bridge during a joint oversight tour of Federal Goverment projects in Lagos zone by the Senate and Federal House of Representatives committee on works.

“In the next seven days the bridge will be opened to ease traffic. I have directed the contractors to open the second lane in my name in seven days’ time.

“Officially, President Bola Tinubu will be commissioning the rehabilitated road when he will be commissioning the coastal road,” he said.

The minister explained that the 11.8 kilometre dual lanes project being handled by CCEC was initially awarded at the cost of N21billion, of which 30 percent of the cost has been paid.

However, he revealed that there are some additional cost emanating from asphalt which was at N22,000 per square metre, solar light, and CCTV installation, among others. And this extra cost he said the government will pay as it is contractually obtainable.

“We discovered that there is a need to put solar light, CCTV cameras both on top and under the bridge to be powered by solar power instead of diesel energy. We are also changing the electric poles to solar poles,” he said.

Akin Alabi, the House of Representatives committee for works chairman applauded the ministry of works, and the contractors for great work done.

He assured the minister of the lower chamber’s continual support.

“We are happy with what we have seen so far; and we commend the ministry of works and the contractors for work well done,” he said.

At the Ahmadu Bello Way terminal of the coastal road, the minister of works explained that the coastal highway is being procured in phases.

“The first phase which is from Lagos to Calabar is procured in sections. The first section which is 47.07 kilometres has 10 lanes, but there is no provision for trains because of some constraints such as demolish of structures and the clumsiness it will bring to the area.

“The project is procured by HiTech Construction Company at the rate of N1.06 trillion,” he said.

In addition, he said; “The train station will be sited at the kilometer 28 of the project. The second section of the project is 55 kilometres will to the border between Ogun and Ondo States. It will also be connecting to the Deep Sea Port, and that is where the train station will be located because there are other link roads there.”

Furthermore, the former governor of Ebonyi State explained that the third section of the phase will commence from Cross River State, but that the road is being preoccupied by militants which has made it difficult for the government to continue with its initial plans.

“We have challenges because part of the road is being encumbered by militants, and so instead of waiting for them to clear, we have to procure another road and the design is almost completed. It is about 50 kilometres,” he noted.

Barinada Mpigi, the senate committee for works chairman in his speech at inspection site expressed satisfaction at what he and his fellow legislatures saw on the ground.

However, he reiterated that the upper chamber would like to see the documentations of the project, as they do not work on oral reports.

“With what we heard you explain, I can assure you that the 10th senate under the leadership of Godwin Akpabio, and the Federal House of Representatives speaker so far believes that project resonates the renewed agenda of President Tinubu led-administration.

“However, the parliament do not work on oral presentations, but with documents. We hope with all the amount you mentioned would reflect on the project, hence, we look forward to seeing what you have done,” he said.

The joint national assembly committees for works and the ministers of works with their teams and journalists visited the costal road projects, the Lagoon bridge project, which is about 70 percent completed, the Apapa- Oshodi concrete road project and the third mainland bridge rehabilitation project.