Home Transportation Lagos state re-opens Eko, Apongbon bridges

Lagos state re-opens Eko, Apongbon bridges

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The Lagos state government has re-opened Eko and Apongbon bridges after repair works that necessitated their closure in 2022 were completed.

At the opening yesterday evening, the federal government and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu declared zero tolerance for trading and other illegal activities under bridges across the state.

Leading the federal team, Olukorede Kesha, federal controller of works, Lagos State thanked Sanwo-Olu for his support of the rehabilitation works and for deploying state machinery to support the federal government to ensure speedy completion of the exercise.

“If not for your intervention, today wouldn’t have come to pass like this. We want to thank you for your quick intervention, thank you sir for your support, thank you for your collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works.

“We are so grateful that you are considering the hardship that motorists are going through and you decided to bring the state machinery to the assistance of the Federal Government; that, we really appreciate,” she said.

However, Mrs Kesha, added that there would be intermittent short closures to continue a repair contract that existed before the fire gutted the Eko Bridge.

She said that attention shifted from the existing contract to the portion of Eko Bridge damaged by fire to ensure its speedy rehabilitation, explaining that the work on the other sections would continue.

The controller warned illegal squatters to leave, declaring that the governor was backing the federal government on their total eviction to protect and preserve bridges across the state.

“We are using this opportunity again to tell the illegal occupants under bridges that it can no longer be business as usual. This highway is our national asset; it belongs to all of us.

“We can no longer fold our hands and watch a few of us, a few un-progressives amongst us, to now destroy our national assets and it has its economic impact on the state and the nation at large.

“This is a final warning, the governor is here to support,” she said.

Also speaking, Sanwo-Olu declared that the bridge would be re-opened to traffic at midnight.

He warned that street trading would not be allowed under the Eko/Apongbon as well as other bridges across the state.

“These are important infrastructure, they are important assets that we can not fold our arms and let a few people destroy them, we have seen the effects of these destruction,” he said.

He warned illegal occupants at Ijora Olopa, Costain that it was zero tolerance to their activities.

“We cannot put markets under the bridges, we cannot put any form of sales under the bridges,” he said.

Speaking in Yoruba language, he further explained the hardship the damage to the infrastructure had caused.

Mr Sanwo-Olu gave the traders one week to vacate all bridges, while advising them to take ownership of the infrastructure and ensure their safety.

Earlier, the governor also explained extensive collaboration resulting in the successes achieved during rehabilitation works.

He assured the people that a comprehensive test was carried out by the contractors to ensure the rehabilitated bridges were structurally fit for motorists to ply.

Sanwo-Olu said there was a need to replace some bearings on the entire stretch, explaining that future closures to jerk up the bridge would not exceed between one to three weeks.

He said that the re-opening of the bridge was to reduce hardship to road users.

The governor said announcements would be made through the state’s Ministry of Transportation towards short closures for the comprehensive repair of the entire bridge.

Both Apongbon and Eko bridges were affected by fires caused by human activities in 2022, which led to the extension of their delivery date to May 2023.

The federal government later set another deadline of July 15, which was reviewed downward to July 9.

The 4.1km Eko Bridge links Lagos Island with Mainland. It directly links to Apongbon on the Island side.

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