Lagos State has pruned its list of firms vying for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge down to three as part of its broader push to fight grinding traffic jam and expand transportation network in the continent’s most populous city.
The 37-kilometre bridge will stretch over the lagoon from Ajah in the east to Ikorodu in northern Lagos. It is almost two times longer than Africa’s longest, Cairo’s 6 October Bridge, built over almost 30 years.
Jubril Gawat, a spokesperson for Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, said on Sunday the winning bidder will be announced by year end.
A group of investors led by Porto-based Mota-Engil Group on one side as well as CGGC-CGC joint venture and CRCCIG Consortium are the contenders.
Lagos, Africa’s most populous city, has an average of 200 cars plying every kilometre. It is also Nigeria’s smallest state by area, making the compact landmass particularly vulnerable to gridlock, an ordeal complicated by its network of roads mostly marred by potholes.
Residents, according to an 18-month study by research house JCDecaux Grace Lake Nigeria, spend an average of 30 hours in traffic weekly.
The government is banking on the $2.5 billion project to open up the state to a couple of strategic locations, some of real estate interest, and expects to deliver it by way of public private partnership (PPP) that will toll motorists at three points to recoup investment.
The road is planned to have a design speed of 120kmh, a lagoon bridge measuring 4.5 kilometres and nine interchanges, Ope George, a special adviser to the governor on PPP, told reporters in Lagos on Saturday.
A functional intra-city rail line has eluded the state since the 1983 military coup aborted Former Governor Lateef Jakande’s plan to build one.
Having missed at least two deadlines since it was first proposed in 2008, a standard gauge metro rail project which has passed between four different administrations is still in the works even though Governor Sanwo Olu’s government has said operation will start next month.
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