By Grace Alegba and Franklin Ohaegbu
The Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing on Friday opened the Ijora 7Up Bridge which was closed to traffic for repairs in July, after undergoing rehabilitation works.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ministry has also began rehabilitation works on the Third Mainland Bridge and Alaka Bridges.
While opening the Ijora Bridge to traffic, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Adedamola Kuti, said that the damaged bridge was closed for repairs about five months ago.
Kuti said that all the expansion joints on the bridge were bad, saying that some other deteriorated portions made the bridge unsafe; hence, its closure for repairs.
“This is about the third bridge in Lagos that we have completed maintenance work on. Earlier on, we completed that of Marine Beach.
“We completed Coconut Bridge and now, this is the third one, Ijora 7Up Bridge.
“Hopefully, in a couple of months, we should be completing the Leventis Bridge.
“Tomorrow, Saturday, we shall be starting off with the maintenance of Alaka Bridge in Lagos,’’ he said.
Mr Haim Halle, Chief Executive Officer of Hallekem Ltd., the Contractor that handled the repairs, told newsmen that the bridge was badly damaged due to lack of drainage channels.
Halle explained that the bridge deck was lifted by six centimetres and further strengthened while replacing the expansion joints.
He noted that some bearings giving support to the piers of the 326-metres bridge were also changed.
“All the expansion joints are Alga products from Italy. We have used original products that will allow the bridge last up to 30 years, if properly maintained.
“We saved the bridge. Everything was rotten for several years because of lack of drainage; so we just created the drainage.
“We recovered the bridge; not just the asphalt but the overlay which we started in July and finished in November. We finished the work in five months instead of the one year period for the contract,’’ Halle said.
While inspecting repairs on the Third Mainland Bridge on Friday night, Kuti said repair of the bridge began about two weeks ago, noting that measures were adopted to avert gridlock.
The controller explained that the repairs were being done at night on the Third Mainland Bridge to avert gridlock and minimise hardship for road users.
“We work on the bridge at night when there is less traffic and only shut the section we are working on and allow cars to go on the other lane. We continue work through the night till about 5:00 a.m.,’’ he said.
Kuti listed other roads that were repaired to include Agege Motor Road, Herbert Macaulay Way, Alagomeji Road, among others.
“We want to thank Lagosians for their patience with us. This is just a necessity.
“The government is very responsive and government is trying its best under the leadership of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, who has given us opportunity to fix all these bridges in Lagos,’’ he said.
Dvirh Hirsch, Project Manager, Reynolds Construction Company Ltd., said that heavy vehicular movement coupled with reckless driving affected construction works on the Third Mainland Bridge.
*Ijora-7Up Bridge, Lagos…after the repair works on it