Some motorists in Lagos on Monday said the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repairs since Friday had increased the travel time to and from the Lagos Island.
The motorists, in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, decried the timing for the repairs, saying the work should have started during the COVID-19 lockdown.
According to them, there is no choice than for them to bear the sufferings and the pains, all through the exercise, as alternative routes will also be congested at morning and afternoon peak periods.
Commenting, Mr Oziegbe Okoeki, a businessman said: “The sufferings of commuters and motorists are huge in the state, going from Mainland to the Island everyday, including weekends, even before this partial closure.
“So, the current situation has worsened the pains of road users. It has increased the travel time on this major access bridge to the Island.
“For instance, I should have been to work now on a normal day, and I am still on the road.
“So, there is no way we won’t suffer from this; but the repairs is needed for our good.”
Okoeki said that if the proposed Fourth Mainland Bridge had been done, the fear and apprehension would have been minimal, when the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge was announced.
Also, a Cleric, Pastor Titus Ayodeji, said the Federal Government needed to attend to other major roads to reduce the hardship being faced by motorists and commuters every time they go out and come in.
“Though, it would have been very good, if the government had utilised the period of lockdown to work on this repairs and expedite work, to lessen the pains of people; we have no choice than to accept whatever pains this will bring.
“One thing I think the government should also realise is that most roads are bad generally and they need attention.
“For instance, vehicles fall every day on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, among others. So, attention of the government should be holistic.
“Most of the alternative roads are not also good enough. More vehicles are going to use these alternative roads and cause traffic jam.
“They are going to worsen the state of these roads,” Ayodeji said.
In his remarks, a motorist, Mr John Erhomosele, said the partial closure of the bridge had made him resolve to always leave home early, so as to get to work in good time, and also to return early.
Erhomosele said: “Fear came on us when we heard the announcement of the partial closure of this bridge, because we know the negative impact it will have on the motorists.
“I use this bridge regularly and since the announcement, we have been jittery. Even, when the closure had not taken place, we spent hours getting to the office on daily basis.
“Sometimes, we leave home about 5.30a.m or 6.00a.m, and we won’t get to the office until 9.00a.m. By the time we get to the office, we are fagged out and this affects productivity.
“If you consider this daily transit rigour when there was no form of closure, you can imagine what we will be going through now, especially in the afternoon with all the diversions.”
Erhomosele said that most people working in private establishments had no option or excuse than to wake up earlier than they used to, to enable them to get to office in good time.
“If we don’t leave early, you might be getting to office at 2.00p.m now, especially those of us residing in Ogun and working in Lagos,” he noted.
NAN reports that the partial closure of the bridge by the Federal Ministry of Works, is expected to last for six months from July 24, to fix the worn out expansion joints on it.