MINISTER of Power, Works & Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said, yesterday, that the Third Mainland Bridge, Lagos, will be shut for three days, from July 27 to 29, and not 27 months as earlier reported.
Fashola made the clarification on Channels Television Sunrise Daily while responding to reactions to the 27 months of shutting down the bridge for rehabilitation and maintenance.
Insisting that the bridge will only be closed for three days, contrary to reports that it will be closed for 27 months, Fashola said: “I think somebody mistook the date, July 27, for 27 months. I don’t know how that came about, but there was a signed statement from my office and it didn’t contain 27 months.
“The statement we put out said that it was going to be closed for three days, from July 27 to 29. We were torn between maintenance, safety and people’s convenience.
“But essentially, the first three days at the end of this month, as issued in our press statement, will be for investigative work to be conducted to assess the current condition of the bridge.
“There is a procurement for maintenance that has been approved but between that time and now, some things may have changed so we wanted to do an examination again just to be sure that there has been no material deterioration beyond what we procured.
“After that, our engineers and contracting firms will then lay out the plan of works.
“Some of the equipment and materials have to be imported, either later in the year or early next year, then we will be able to start the repair. That will imminently compel some closure as we have had in the past when I was governor.
“We closed it for about 12 weeks but this time, we will try to reduce the period of closure as much as possible.
“That bridge must not collapse and it needs maintenance. It was built about 30 something years ago. If you recall, the maintenance that was done at the time wasn’t completed because the budget was cut.
“That was why they now did it in phases. So, we are back to what we should have done before. It is costing more, but it needs to be done,” the Minister added.
On the time frame for which the repairs will eventually be completed, he said: “The first three days is what I can speak of now. At the end of this, we will come back to the public and speak to you definitively.”
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