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Lagosians’ joy as 3rd Mainland bridge reopens

By Uche Nnadozie 

The smiles on the faces of Lagosians in particular who ply the Third Mainland Bridge connecting the island and the mainland parts of the state shows the relief brought as a result of the five months closure of the iconic bridge for repair works.

The 11.8km bridge was first opened in 1991 shortly before the city ceased to be the country’s capital, unfortunately, palpable neglect has followed public infrastructure erected as a result of its former status. 

3MB happens to be one of those infrastructure projects which has suffered neglect giving opportunity for severe damages culminating in safety concerns over the years.

The reconstruction of the bumpy surface, replacement of piers and many other technical repair works done could have caused untold hardship for the commuting public if not the excellent traffic management instituted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his team at the Ministry of Transportation led by the commissioner, Oluwaseun Osiyemi. 

To be fair, some past presidents have tried to repair the bridge. All have been cosmetic at best, until President Bola Tinubu came. What more, the irrepressible anchor of the repairs – Minister of Works, Senator Dave Umahi who showed compassion and unrivaled professional competence in directing the job. 

The bridge is critical to mass commuting in Lagos on a daily basis. Although there are two other bridges that connect the two parts of Lagos, the 3MB’s centrality in this regard cannot be overemphasized. And when there are closures even for a day, the effect reverberates in distant parts of the state.

Since the repairs were concluded and the additional road furniture that have been added, there is no gain saying that this particular repair was well planned and efficiently delivered.  The bridge now boasts of solar powered street lights and intelligent CCTV cameras that will help secure people, manage traffic, detect vandals and apprehend thieves. 

The resurfacing has been described in superlative terms. Some say it’s the smoothest road in the country. It is so smooth that people have called for speed breakers on the highway. This may have led the Lagos government to recommend 80km/hour for drivers.

Speaking further about the bridge, the Federal Controller of Works in the state, Engr. Olukorede Kesha said that it would take a “minimum of two years for any type of maintenance to take place on the site”. She warned that “there would be speed limiting devices that would capture offenders. You have LASG to deal with at the renewal of your license”. 

Osiyemi said there would be “zero tolerance of anyone trying to toy with or mess around the infrastructure that has been put in place”, warning sandals to find a job. The bridge had witnessed several incidents of vandalism in the past. 

Lagos has a fantastic team that would help ensure the bridge is well protected and managed going forward. Lagosians are happy with the turnaround time and happier with the quality of work.

The collaboration between the state and the federal government has led to the delivery of an excellent piece of infrastructure. Lagos will protect it at all cost even as more work is done under the bridge to correct encroachments by sand dredgers who have targeted the bridge pillars – exposing the same to the elements. 

This is another plus to the Sanwo-Olu government who is seen as the king of big ticket projects. Little wonder the federal government left no expense in supporting his giant strides with the quality and timely work on the bridge even as work moves to other critical bridges across the state.

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