The Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has attested to the stability and safety of the Third Mainland Bridge, which is currently undergoing routine repair works on its weak expansion joints.
Recently, there were fears over the bridge following a Facebook video clip showing the expansion joint in the bridge.
But in a report after its technical visit to the bridge signed by NSE Chairman, Apapa Branch, Sunny Ejeje, the body stressed that the expansion joints are not the structural parts of the bridge and do not have structural bearing on the stability of the bridge.
The technical visit made on April 22, 2019 by NICE Lagos Chapter under the leadership of the Lola Adetona, was attended by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, and other national and state officials .
In allaying the fears of motorists, the engineers said the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing did an underwater integrity test on the bridge three weeks ago and the reports were analyzed and the results were acceptable.
According to them, the 12 weak expansion joints have never been worked on over 35 years of the bridge life. They said, the ministry awarded repair works on the weak expansion joints and procurement has already been made towards this.
The body noted that the Federal Government normally does period maintenance on all the bridges, which is always between four – five years.
“In the past 11 years, maintenance on this particular bridge was done 2008, another one in 2012 and 2013, while the present one (for 2018/2019) started last year and still ongoing”, they stated.
It will be recalled that the Third Mainland Bridge was shut down for a three-day investigative maintenance in August 2018.
But the ministry said tests done on the expansion joints then were to check the functionality of the joint, while a number of expansion joints were identified for replacement.
“More recently, in March this year, underwater confirmatory tests preceding the repair works to be done on the bridge, were also carried out on the piles to determine any further deterioration on the piles from that done in 2018.
“However, all the tests done preparatory to closure of the bridge to commencement of comprehensive maintenance works indicate that the integrity of the bridge is intact.
“Therefore the Third Mainland Bridge is safe for use, and people should desist from spreading or sharing false information about the bridge on social media “, it added.
By Bertram Nwannekanma