By James, Michael Igiri
Following recent reports on social media that the proposed maintenance exercise of the 3 rd Mainland
Bridge, will last 27-months, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,
SAN has dispelled the information as mere rumour born out of a deep misconception.
Speaking to Newsmen in an interview, the former Governor of Lagos State, said contrary to the
purported date popularised by unconventional media platforms, the initial closure of the bridge will be
for three days (starting from 27 th to 30 th July), while the major part of the maintenance activities will
be done later in the year or in 2019.
“Later in the year, or early next year, we will be able to start the actual work that would imminently
compel some closure as we have had in the past when I was Governor. I think we closed there [the
Bridge] for about 12 weeks. We will however, try and reduce the period of closure as much as
possible, but this is a choice between peoples’ safety as ultimately, that bridge must not collapse, and
the inconveniences bound to be experienced It needs maintenance, as it has been built for over thirty
years,” he said.
Mr. Fashola stated that the initial maintenance that was carried out during his tenure as governor
could not be completed at the time because of budget cuts.
“And that was why we did it in phases; so we are now back to what we should have done before. It is
costing more, but, it needs to be done,” he explained.
The Minister further explained that although, the maintenance exercise will begin on the 27 th July and
last three days, at the end of the exercise, an initial assessment report will be communicated to the
public as a means of providing a more reliable and empirical projection as to the length of time which
the imminent closure will be for.
He lamented the poor maintenance culture which has affected other federal facilities, and called for a
change of attitude and approaches to maintaining public facilities.
“We haven’t maintained many public transport facilities for a long time. The Ijora Bridge, you might
recall had almost collapsed as a result of a lack of maintenance. We heard recently in Niger State, the
Tatabu Bridge had failed, but we are now rebuilding that… of course we have started some
maintenance work now across the whole country, getting under the bridges using Divers, accessing
their conditions and their are people working right now as I speak, under the Niger Bridge- the old
Niger Bridge- while we are trying to build another one.”
He reeled out other projects including the Boro Bridge in Port-Harcourt; parts of the Eko Bridge in
Lagos; the Tamburawa Bridge in Kano and other works across the country.