The Federal Government of Nigeria at the weekend opened the Apapa-Ijora Bridge in Lagos State to light traffic, as the emergency repair works on the bridge are almost completed.
It was shut on Monday, August 8, for emergency repair works on its failed sections and temporary coverage of the failed concrete bridge deck section.
The decision was taken after an inspection tour and a meeting with stakeholders by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
With consistent attention from the contracting firm, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and supervisory work by officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, work on the temporary coverage of the failed concrete bridge deck section was completed on Saturday including the approach to the bridge.
Also completed was the placement of height restriction gantry in order to ensure only light traffic could access the bridge.
The bridge is now open to light traffic while repair works continue on the diversions.
Motorist, who work in and around Apapa axis, could now use the Apap-Ijora bridge after it was closed for rehabilitation.
Many of them had thought that the repairs would take some time, considering the nation’s revenue base that has continued to dwindle with the drop in crude oil price.
After the initial worries about the failing concrete deck of some parts of the bridge, Mr Fashola said the construction company had carried out a reinforcement work which is capable of supporting light vehicular traffic.
He insisted that it was better for Nigerians to endure the pains that the closure had caused than for tragedy to occur.
It was danger waiting to happen and would have, in its wake, been colossal.
The reasons were not farfetched, as the bridge had over the years been subjected to daily heavy load of container bearing trucks and petroleum products tankers.
The 40-year-old bridge remained, for a very long time, the only major entry and exit from Apapa and the consequence became very evident.
After concerns were raised about the deplorable state, the Federal Government took a tough decision to shut it down for emergency rehabilitation work