The bridge was closed on July 7.
After months of closure, and hardship to commuters, the Third Mainland Bridge , the longest bridge connecting Lagos Island to the mainland was re-opened on Tuesday, earlier than estimated.
Rehabilitations on the bridge started in July resulting in its partial closure.
Reports had been rife that the bridge was oscillating in 2006. This led to the inspection of the bridge and the eventual rehabilitation and replacement of expansion joints in July.
Speaking on the occasion of the re-opening of the bridge, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen said he is delighted that the project was delivered 10 days ahead of schedule.
He said that the contract was “completed at the awarded contract sum, devoid of variation”.
The contract was awarded to Messrs Borini Prono Company Nig. Ltd at the cost of N1.05 billion.
The minister thanked the contractors as well as agencies concerned for providing security and effectively managing traffic during the period.
The minister urged the public to disregard speculation disparaging the integrity of the bridge. He said his ministry used under-water divers to assess the bridge and certified it fit.
“The structural elements are intact,” he said.
While inspecting an expansion joint on the bridge, the minister said that there was a need for the laid pipes to be strengthened so that the street lights could work.
“We would take a step further and rehabilitate the street lights,” he said.
Mr. Onolememen said that the ministry would move to the Marine Bridge in Lagos, Murtala Mohammed Bridge in Lokoja, and other bridges requiring attention across the country before the end of the year, to make travelling easy.
Relief to motorists
Motorists heaved a sigh of relief after months of manic traffic.
A motorist, Joshua Imokhare, said that he was pleasantly surprised when he heard that the bridge had been opened.
“Such a thing is rare to come by in Nigeria because there have been many projects that never met the schedule,” Mr. Imokhare said.
“I was surprised when I learnt that the bridge was opened and I was among the first motorists to ply it,’’ another motorist, Abiodun Anjorin said.
“The reopening of the bridge today will ease the traffic gridlock experienced since the repair work began; such affected our operations, especially with this lingering fuel scarcity,” Musiliu Ajibade, a commercial bus driver, said.