Some motorists have appealed to the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to complete the rehabilitation of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
Motorists, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the continued delay of the project had caused hardship to road users.
They expressed concern that FERMA had abandoned the site after removing some portions of the road surface which they said had affected driving.
NAN reports that FERMA two weeks ago began sectional milling- removing of asphalt on various portions on the Obalende/CMS bound carriageway.
However, NAN correspondents who took a trip on the bridge on Wednesday report that no worker or equipment on site.
Mr Deji Elumoye, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), also expressed disappointment that the agency abandoned work after raising the hope of road users.
He said: “Initially, we thought that work was going to start seriously on the Third Mainland Bridge, but after FERMA removed some portions of the road surface, we can’t see workers on site again. We can’t see the construction firm or any equipment and we begin to wonder why. In the last few weeks, we have been subjected to a lot of hardship on this bridge, now the road is impassable.
“For you to pass through some sections of the bridge, your vehicle has to be in good shape, especially the tyres. Government should wake up and do what is expected of it, as regards the repairs of the Third Mainland Bridge, the repair has been abandoned. They (FERMA) should go back to site and stop this harrowing experience motorists are going through in Lagos, especially those going to the Island,” he said.
Mrs Titi Awosika, chandler, also appealed to FERMA to go back to site to avert accidents and gridlock.
“I was startled and afraid when my car hit those portions where they removed asphalt, because I took it for granted that the road is smooth. Why removing asphalt if there is no immediate plan to resurface the road, an important economic bridge,” she queried.
Also, Mrs Tosin Popoola, a Banker, Mr Aniekan Tebasi, an Event Planner and Senior Apostle Wole Ajayi, a transporter, also appealed to FERMA to return to site to complete the project.
Responding, Mr Tayo Awodun, the engineer in charge of the project told NAN that the agency was still on site cleaning some construction debris adding that it would soon begin the laying of asphalt on the bridge.
“We must mill before we can lay asphalt. The equipment we use for milling is different from the ones we use for asphalt, so, we have to remove the ones we used for milling before we bring the ones for asphalt to site.
“We have not left site, men are still on site, what they are doing is cleaning before we begin laying asphalt. They (contractors) will likely lay the asphalt this week,” he said.
Awodun said that plan was ongoing with Righteous Construction Co. Ltd., contractors handling the project, to begin laying asphalt on the bridge during the week.
The bridge was built by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and opened by President Ibrahim Babangida in 1990, measuring about 11.8 km in length.
The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges.
It also was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October Bridge, located in Cairo was completed, but 2006, Many commuters had reported that the bridge was vibrating, indicating that it needed urgent attention