Monday, September 2, 2013

Motorists, residents, worry over distressed bridges in Lagos

As Lagos State Government intensify efforts in identifying and
demolishing distressed buildings across the state, there are the
growing concerns over the poor state of most of the bridges in the
state, which have been left for so long without any consideration for
rehabilitation and maintenance.
Recently, Lagos State Transport Management Authority LASTMA, alerted
both the Federal and state governments on the need to effect immediate
rehabilitation on Liverpool Bridge in Apapa which had been identified
to be distressed, to avert disaster. Also, residents and motorists
along Ketu, Iyana-Oworo axis, have called the attention of the state
government to the Alapere-Ogudu Link Bridge which requires repairs at
the distressed expansion joint on the bridge.
Though both distressed bridges-Alapere-Ogudu and Liverpool- had since
been fixed, many more bridges have beenidentified for immediate
rehabilitation. Also, two weeks ago, an alarm was raised over the
distressed expansion joints on Eko Bridge, which is still awaiting
intervention from Federal government..
However, last week, the cheering news broke on the first move to
prevent the "catastrophe waiting to happen on Third Mainland Bridge",
when Minister of Information, Labaran Maku announced the approval of
N290.745 million by President Goodluck Jonathan for a comprehensive
underwater inspection of the bridge. Maku said the bridge's integrity
test, which would be conducted and completed within two months, was
aimed at detecting areas on the bridge that needed maintenance.
Dopemu-Akowonjo Link Bridge alert
FOR residents, it is not yet "Uhuru" on repairs of bridges as fresh
concern has been raised over Dopemu-Akowonjo Link Bridge along
Lagos-Abeokuta expressway,Lagos, following precarious state of some
sections of the bridge. There is a fast disjointed expansion joint on
the right side of the bridge when coming from Akowonjo to Dopemu,
along Swipha Company which is capable of collapsing.
The side railings which could act as a stopper on both side had either
been damaged by accident vehicles or removed by vandals.
The failed section vibrates whenever vehicle moves on it. "It is
proper to say the bridge is unsafe." Mr. Adeolu Alabi, a regular
motorist along the axis said.
Alabi continued: "Hence, it requires comprehensive works to be carried
out on the bridge which has been left for somany years without major
maintenance work on it.
"There is need for the state government to visit the bridge and carry
out a check on it to ascertain its stability. Therefore, the state
government needs to comeup with a holistic maintenance structure for
all its bridges considering its status as one of the fastest growing
One of the deadly cases that happened on the bridge waswhen a year old
baby, her mother and a driver narrowly escaped death when their black
Mitsubishi Montero Sports Utility Vehicle, SUV, fell off the Dopemu
Bridge But the occupants of the SUV, the driver, Alex Stephen, Mrs.
Adeyinka and her baby girl, one-year old Fadeyera Adeyinka, escaped
unhurt. They were taken to aprivate hospital in Idimu, Lagos where
they were treated for shock.
"The heavy traffic experienced daily on the Abeokuta-Oshodi Expressway
can be minimised if the Dopemu Bridge that has a single lane is
expanded to two lanes on both sides. All the vehicles going to Egbeda,
Shasha, Ikotun and Badagry (just to mention a few) all ply this narrow
bridge, thereby causing heavy hold-up even onSundays. The authorities
concerned should do something so that Nigerians using this bridge can
enjoy a stress-free life."

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