By G9ija

The Federal Government has said the current maintenance work to fix the expansion joint at the Alaka end of Eko Bridge in Lagos State had reached 83 per cent completion stage.

The government spoke through Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola.

It also said the ministry will, by mid-night tomorrow, close the Third Mainland Bridge till mid-night of 11 October.

The government said it had fixed three expansion joints between Adeniji Adele and Adekunle end of the Third Mainland Bridge, covering about 3.5 kilometres of repairs.

Fashola stated these during his inspection of Federal bridges in Lagos.

The minister said over 50 bridges were undergoing  maintenance, repairs and refurbishment across the country in conformity with Federal Government’s national infrastructure maintenance programme.

He said infrastructure renewal expansion and development programme has been the focus of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“This is part of the national asset maintenance programme that the Federal executive has approved, not just to restore national infrastructure but also to create jobs,” Fashola said.

According to him, the decision to close the Alaka end of Eko Bridge is to prevent accidents in the course of emergency repairs on Eko Bridge, Marine Bridge and the Third Mainland Bridge.

Fashola said the current bridge maintenance and rehabilitation programme in Lagos is part of the government’s nationwide efforts to maintain and refurbish its road infrastructure across the country.

This, he said, was in conformity with the national infrastructure maintenance programme and the national infrastructure renewal expansion and development programme of the current administration.

“All the work that we have seen will not make sense if we don’t protect it. This is why, regrettably, we have to close this section of the bridge.

“Our work hasn’t finished. We are going to finish this work in January next year. But more importantly, it is to protect the sections that have been completed so that our tolerance, forbearance would not have been in vain, so that when the work is finally done, we almost have a new bridge that will last a very long time.

“Ideally, we should close each time we reach a joint. But we are trying to minimise inconveniences. We have done three joints for one closure. Ideally, it should be one closure for each joint,” Fashola said.