By Benjamin Omoike
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Wednesday disclosed that parts of Eko bridge closed in the early hours of the day was for safety of the residents and motorists who use the bridge as well as to pave the way for maintenance works to be done on the failed portions.
Governor Sanwo-Olu stated this at the Costain area of Iganmu during an Inspection of the defective portion of the bridge.
Sanwo-Olu who was accompanied to the site by some state government officials and the Federal Controller of Works, Adedamola Kuti, announced that the bridge was partially closed in the early hours of today after he received a report on its condition on the need for a thorough engineering investigation to be conducted, which will ultimately lead to the commencement of repair works.
The Governor said it has become necessary for Government to take precautionary measures, insisting that the Eko bridge and other ones in the state must be repaired. He also assured that the contractors would get to work to see how maintenance could be carried out in the shortest possible time.
While lamenting the manner Lagos bridges have been abused, Governor Sanwo-Olu assured that the State’s Ministry of Transportation will ensure that the traffic rules and principles are followed.
He said: “I want to reiterate, and to assure Lagosians that both Lagos State Government and the Federal Ministry of works will get to work very quickly and we’ll see how quickly we can remedy the current situation.
“These are bridges that are not also made for us to have dead weight on them and what do I mean by dead weight, all the heavy trucks and containers that we parked on them. They are not designed for such usage.
“And so what we will do is to go back with our Ministry of Transportation, and do a full traffic impact assessment. And we will see where we can advise our commuters on how to go about their vehicular movement just as we provide adequate alternatives.”
The Governor also urged commuters in the state to be patient and obey traffic officers as they direct people on road diversions to alternative routes while maintenance work is being carried out.
The Governor stated that although the bridge is a Federal Government asset, the State Government had a responsibility to maintain them for the use of the residents.
Speaking earlier, Kuti stated that maintenance of bridge was a continuous thing to do and added that the government was committed to carry out rehabilitation works on worn-out bearings noticed between Alaka and Costain portion inwards Apongbon of Eko Bridge.
He stated that the bridge, constructed in the 70s, is no longer safe for commuters and assured that a detailed investigation would be carried out in that regards.
“This is Eko Bridge. And we just discovered that the bearings are gone, especially on this particular pair. So the bearings are broken, and we are having problem with the bridge deck. As a matter of fact, the bridge is no longer safe for public use.
“And so pending further detailed investigation, we need to carry out detailed investigation: an assessment of this particular bearing and all that, then we will be able to now give you further information on what we can do, but for now the bridge is not safe for public use. So it has to be shut down at the early hour of today, to allow for detailed investigation before we can allow members of the public to make use of it,” he said.