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The Federal Government has disclosed that it will spend well over N270bn this year to overhaul major interstate bridges and others totaling about 50 in 2017 as part of new efforts to grow road transport.
The Minister of Power Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this while inspecting the Rehabilitation of Lagos Ring Road Bridge Abutment and Approach to the Third Mainland Bridge project in Lagos.
He said some columns and beams of the Third Mainland bridge were threatened because of human activities, sand filling and ecological factors, which resulted in erosion, stressing that “The work we have come to inspect was awarded some years back when there was an indication of some mis-alignments here on the Lagos Outer Ring Road which is the beginning of what leads on to the Third Mainland Bridge itself which is just about here.
“And it is being caused by erosion, sand filling and other activities.
“This road has moved as a result of some sub-soil displacement.”
According to him, the project which was slowed down by funding would be completed in November.
While maintaining that many of the bridges in Lagos and across the country had suffered neglect and had not been undergoing routine maintenance, Fashola maintained that the current administration was determined to correct the trend and had begun the process for maintenance of about 50 bridges across the country “if it receives the support of the legislature”.
“Many of the bridges we built in the country over the last four, five decades have not been under any form of maintenance.
“We now have a three-year plan affecting over 50 bridges across the country for maintenance, repairs and restoration.
“And it is going to cost about N270 billion over three years.
“Our plan is to start with about N70 to N100 billion in year one; starting with the very critical ones so that they do not collapse and then we move to the less critical ones.”
The minister who received brief from the Federal Controller of Works, Lagos, Godwin
Eke, on status of other bridges, immediately directed engineers to begin work to realign the Apongbon Bridge.
Gianfranco Albertazzi, the Joint Managing Director, Boroni Prono and Co Nig. Ltd, contractors of the project, revealed however that some piers, alignment and decks and piles of the bridge were affected.
Albertazzi said: “I have pictures of the affected columns here. They were enlarged but we have strengthened them by another layer of steel and concrete.”
The contractor noted that a new kind of cement that dealt with the problem of salinity of both air and water was being used to reduce degeneration of the bridge.
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