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(Special Report) Lagos bridges under threat as dead weights rise daily—BHIU

Life span of all Lagos flyovers and bridges are currently under serious threats of being shortened due to continuous stay of tankers, container and other forms of articulated vehicles, Business Hilights Intelligence Unit (BHIU) can authoritatively report.
Checks carried out by BHIU on a number of Lagos highways currently jam parked with these classes of vehicles showed that many of them carry an average of 40 to 50 trucks at a stretch.
In an interview with a trailer mechanic, Wasiu Ademola in Orile, he explained that “The dead weight of a 20 feet container trailer is about 7,000kg while that of a 40 feet is 14,000kg”.
“The problem with the Orile trailer park built some years ago by the Lagos State Government is poor maintenance because many parts of the park are so dilapidated that they are now inaccessible.
“Besides, I was told that government has increased the parking fee to a level many of the driver s cannot pay for the total number of days they are to stay before heading to the port for duties,” Ademola revealed.
Also speaking, a Highway Engineer working with one of the leading highway construction company (name with held), confided in BHIU that “All the highways currently carrying dead weights of non-moving heavy duty tankers are running the risk of shortening their original life span”.
“You see, bridges are not designed with static weights in view but mobile weights that are moving vehicles at all times. So when heavy vehicles are stationed over a long period of time, the total dead weights will start to impact on the tensile force of the bridges. Such situations cause what we can call gradual sinking of pillars which will result in major bridge joints running out of height equilibrium.
Continuing, the highway expert revealed that “When joints equilibrium are distorted, the bridge strength is automatically compromised and declared unfit for use”.
“If I am to advise the government of this country, the best bet for all Lagos highways that have been hosting articulated is to be tested for strength and suitability.
At the Apapa Truck bay construction site, it was discovered that contrary to earlier claims of the Minister of Transportation that it will be delivered this year, there is no sign that the bay will even be ready by second quarter of 2019.
Some artisans doing business around the massive waterfront told BHIU crew that work had been suspended at the park since the last lap of President Goodluck Jonathan administration and nothing had really happened since the entrance of the current government.
Besides, several terminal operators who by the provisions of their concession agreements, are supposed to have built trucking bays have developed thick skins in that regard and government seems to lack the political will to invoke sanctions or even review their concessions which had been due for more than two years now.
An official of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) who spoke on grounds of anonymity said some senior officials of the Authority are disturbed that upon all arrangements to review terminal concessions since last year, body language of the management remains a suspect if we must tell ourselves the bitter truth.