FG Re-opens Ijora-Wharf Bridge in La­gos

THISDAY - - NEWSXTRA - Ben­nett Oghifo

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment, last night, re­opened the Ijora-Wharf Road link bridge in Apapa, La­gos to ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic, af­ter months of clo­sure for re­pair of a short sec­tion of the out­bound lane. The re­ha­bil­i­tated sec­tion is close to the take­off point of the con­crete road con­structed by AG Dan­gote.

The job de­scrip­tion states that it is “slab re­place­ment work/ re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Apapa Wharf Road Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the failed sec­tion Ijora Apapa fly­over and ap­proach road by Leventis, Apapa-Ijora via Duct.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Haim Halle, the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Hallekem Lim­ited, the firm that han­dled the slab re­place­ment, they com­pleted the re­pair of the 325 me­tres stretch of the bridge in five months, in­stead of the one year con­tract pe­riod.

When the bridge was to be shut down for re­pairs, the Minister of Power, Works and Hous­ing, Ba­batunde Fashola said the ac­tion was a dif­fi­cult choice but that sav­ing lives was a bet­ter choice than the in­con­ve­nience the clo­sure of the bridge would cause.

“It is a sober­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment is now deal­ing with many years of ne­glect and abuse of the bridge by traders. “There are many other bridges across the coun­try that are beg­ging for at­ten­tion, main­te­nance and re­pairs.”

The minister said the bridge had not re­ceived proper main­te­nance since it was con­structed over 40 years ago, “yet it con­tin­ued to take axle loads that ex­ceeded its ca­pac­ity due to the busy na­ture of the ter­rain. The bridge has re­ally been bat­tered and abused by us.”

With the re­open­ing of the bridge, it is ex­pected that the traf­fic congestion ex­pe­ri­enced in the port city would ease, said some stake­hold­ers dur­ing the brief re­open­ing cer­e­mony.

Also re­cently, the fed­eral gov­ern­ment per­formed a ground­break­ing cer­e­mony to be­gin the re­con­struc­tion of the 32-kilo­me­tre Apapa-Oshodi-Oworon­shoki-Ojota in La­gos.

Fashola, who per­formed the task on be­half of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari, said the re­con­struc­tion of the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworon­shoki-Ojota ex­press­way Sec­tion 1 Sub-sec­tion A would be­gin from Oloro­gun Michael Ibru Boule­vard (for­mer Creek Road)-end of Port Novo Bridge and Liver­pool road to Co­conut to Beach­land Es­tate in­ter­change bridge to Cele Bus Stop to An­thony Vil­lage to Old La­gos Toll Gate.

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