The federal government on Tuesday said consultations were on-going for the closure of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos for repairs.
It said the ministry of works would hold a meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday to discuss how to manage traffic during the repairs.
The bridge connects the mainland part of Nigeria’s commercial capital to the Island, where many corporate organisations have their head office.
According to the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, the bridge may be “shut by 12 midnight on Thursday so as to carry out tests and some repairs and open it to traffic by midnight on Sunday.
He, however, did not specify the exact date the bridge would be closed to traffic or how long the repairs would last.
According to him, stakeholders attending the meeting to discuss the repairs include traffic regulatory agencies, transport unions, truck owners and drivers’ unions, law enforcement agents, among others.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in May approved N18.874 billion for the repair and maintenance works on the bridge.
The contract was awarded to the Italian construction firm, Borini Prono, which originally constructed the bridge.
“The project has taken off already and in carrying out the work, we may at certain times be shutting down the bridge for maintenance,” Kuti noted.
“At the moment we may begin with tests on the bridge, so, we may shut it by 12 midnight on Thursday and carry out tests and some repairs and open it to traffic by midnight on Sunday.”
He said six other damaged bridges across the state were already undergoing maintenance and rehabilitation.
Kuti said some tests had been carried out on the Otedola Bridge, whose surface was recently burnt during a tanker fire.
He said the tests revealed that the bridge was safe for use and that the contractors would soon attend to the bridge.
Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other are the Eko and Carter bridges.
It was the longest bridge in Africa until 1996 when the 6th October Bridge located in Cairo was completed.