- 11.8km all-important Third Mainland Bridge’s shutdown to last till January 2021
The Nigerian Government has announced the shutdown of the 11.8 kilometers Third Mainland Bridge, second longest in Africa, for six months starting from Friday, July 24.
This decision, Platforms Africa gathered exclusively, has raised concerns among staff of Banks, Oil Companies and other corporate institutions with headquarters or major offices on the various Islands in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The bridge is longest and biggest of the three bridges that link the companies headquarters to the Muritala Muhammed International Airport.
It also serves hundreds of thousands of traders who throng the popular Idumota market from many states on daily basis for buying and selling.
Reports of some worn-out expansion joints on the structure raise concerns over the state of the bridge and Olukayode Popoola, Federal Controller of Works in charge of Lagos, the country’s commercial capital, confirmed the planned shutdown and repair of the bridge.
According to him, consultations are ongoing for another phase of repair works to begin on the 11.8km bridge.
Popoola explained that the work will commence on the outward mainland section of the bridge, and the ministry is working with relevant agencies to perfect traffic during the period.
The bridge has gone through a series of repair works and was last shut in August 2018 for a three-day investigative maintenance check.
There have also been reports of some worn-out expansion joints on the structure, raising concerns over the state of the bridge.
This development will force motorists in Lagos who ply the bridge to begin making arrangements for alternative routes.
Below is the list of commercial banks with International Authorization in Nigeria, with headquarters on the Islands in Lagos.
Access Bank Plc
Fidelity Bank Plc
First City Monument Bank Limited
First Bank of Nigeria Limited
Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc
United Bank for Africa Plc
Zenith Bank Plc
And, the commercial banks with National Authorization in Nigeria;
Citibank Nigeria Limited
Ecobank Nigeria Plc
Heritage Banking Company Limited
Keystone Bank Limited
Polaris Bank Limited. The successor to Skye Bank Plc.[
Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc
Sterling Bank Plc
Titan Trust Bank Limited
Unity Bank Plc
Wema Bank Plc.
“The decision will critically affect operations of all the corporate entities with headquarters and major offices on the Island. It is coming at a time the airport is just reopening after COVID-19 lockdown and I can tell you that it will impact seriously on transportation of men and material between the airport and our offices,” a top management staff at one of the banks told Platforms Africa after her anonymity was guaranteed.
“So the truth is, everyone is aware of this plan and it will continue to form major focus of deliberations at various meetings,” she declared.
Her view was corroborated by Kayode Bajulaye, a Manager at one of the construction firms on the Island; “Majority of our staff who live on the Mainland; some of them live as far as Ikorodu, would be duly communicated to on need to begin planning for this looming nightmare.
“And, that the experience may last six months makes it evem more scary. We will cope but we need proper planning to live with it for half a year.”
Platforms Africa reports that the Third Mainland Bridge also known as Ibrahim Babangida Bridge was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when 6th October bridge, a 29.5 kilometers bridge in Cairo, Egypt, was commissioned.
Its official name is Babangida bridge at its birth in 1990, but the popularity of the name Third Mainland Bridge which refers to the third bridge that was built in the group of three bridges connecting Lagos Mainland with the Lagos Island.