FG blames lockdown for delay in Lagos bridge contract
The Federal Government has blamed the delay on works on the closed Alaka Bridge in Lagos on the coronavirus pandemic.
The bridge constructed over 40 years ago, stretches through Alaka through Costain linking Eko Bridge in Lagos was shut for repairs to prevent its total collapse.
Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Kayode Popoola, who disclosed this to The Guardian , however, promised that the process of the contract award is on and will be made known soonest.
According to him, the award of contract is not definite, but everybody that supposed to take part in the process is doing what he is supposed to do.
He stressed that the delay in the award of contract was caused by the COVID 19 pandemic as every federal government project have to follow a due process.
“Because of COVID 19, only senior officers are coming to office so they are processing the award of the contract.
“The bridge was closed down to avert calamity. We don’t want it to collapse while people are using it . it is like a house, when you see a crack, you know that there is a problem, until you investigate and discover the problem.
“We have discovered that there is a problem with the bridges that is why it was closed down until it is ratified before we open it.
“It is not just something you can say will happen now. it takes time and road users will continue to bear with government”, he added.
The controller also said the Federal Government will also affect the partial closure of Marine bridge next week, so that the contractor can start the work and finish it.
He stressed that the partial closure will take about 5 months as only a lane will be opened to traffic.
Popoola, an engineer said Lagosians have to bear with government as palliative works have been done in all the alternative and adjoining roads.
The Federal Government had announced the indefinite closure of Eko Bridge to enable an unhindered investigation to be carried out on the worn-out bearings noticed between Alaka and Costain portion, inwards Apongbon of the bridge for rehabilitation purposes.
Although the closure was effected before the COVID-19 lockdown , the duration and likely date of reopening to the public were not stated as the magnitude of damage has not been determined.
Both the federal and state governments said the emergency closure was precautionary to prevent the total collapse of the bridge.
It was gathered that government technical team from both Lagos State Ministry of Works and its federal counterpart, including the transportation, the Federal Road Safety Corps and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, assessed the damaged portion of the bridge.
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