The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Godwin Eke, said the bridge was in a critical condition and must be totally closed for rehabilitation to prevent its collapse.
Eke said the bridge had to be closed in order to allow for a thorough job to be done on it.
Stakeholders had at a one-day meeting in Lagos agreed that maintenance works on the bridge should last for 128 days and would be done in phases to prevent gridlock in the Apapa area.
Eke said, “We have to close the bridge but the closure will be in phases; what we are doing now is post-tensioning.
“In post-tensioning, we do not use rods on the bridge, but we use cables to give the bridge strength. We need to change the bearings of the bridge and we need to lift the bridge; at that stage, it must be closed because it cannot take any traffic.”
He said a combined force of all the traffic regulatory agencies would tackle the attendant gridlock during the period of closure, while a meeting planned for February 27 would help stakeholders to map out traffic-control strategies during the repairs.
The engineer supervising the project from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Mrs. Bola Suleiman, said the maintenance would be done in two phases.
She added, “We are going to close it for the first 24 days when we will work on the Lagos-bound carriageway; when we finish that, we will move to the Apapa-bound carriageway and work there for another 24 days.
“By the time we finish, we will begin the replacement of the bearings, which requires us to remove the bridge deck and each of the bearings will take 40 days to complete. We are talking of a total of 128 days.”
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