650 LASTMA officers deployed as Third Mainland Bridge partial closure begins today

The partial closure of the 11.8km Third Mainland Bridge begins from the evening today, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu declaring that his government is ready to manage its effect.

He said 650 Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officers will be on the roads to control the traffic along with Federal Road Safety Corps officers.

Under the partial closure, one side of the bridge would be opened to traffic for vehicles driving inward Lagos Island in the morning, while other other lane would be shut.

The reverse would be done for vehicle driving inward Mainland in the afternoon, while other would be shut.

The partial closure, which begins Friday evening, will last six months.

To further assuage the discomfort that may be experienced by commuters and ease the roads of gridlock, Sanwo-Olu said the state had strengthened the State-owned Lagos Ferry Service (LAGFERRY).

He said that the state government had doubled the capacity of LAGFERRY for mass movement, thereby giving the residents an alternative through water transportation.

”We are also urging commuters to explore the option of waterways in their journey.

He said that the closure of the bridge – the busiest in the country – was inevitable, following physical deterioration observed on the structure, after an integrity test conducted by the Federal Government.

He agreed the closure of the bridge will bring about pain.

But he said it was necessary to prevent disaster that may result from the total collapse of the infrastructure.

Sanwo-Olu said the state government had carried out improvement work on alternative routes mapped out for diversions.

Sanwo-Olu gave the assurances on Thursday when he met the new Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Lagos, Olusegun Ogungbemide.

Ogungbemide came on a courtesy visit at the State House, Marina.

The FRSC chief was accompanied on the visit by the Lagos Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Mr Adeyinka Ayinla.

Sanwo-Olu appealed to residents to exercise patience and bear the discomfort that would be experienced from the partial closure, which would begin on Friday (tomorrow) evening.

He said that vehicular movements on the Third Mainland Bridge would be disrupted by 25 per cent of its regular traffic.

”The partial closure of Third Mainland Bridge is not something that everybody should worry about, because this is an exercise that had been done before.

”For emphasis, the traffic disruption is only about 25 per cent of the regular traffic on the bridge.

”The 75 per cent of vehicles that normally ply the route will still have access to move on the bridge during the period of repair.

”We have furnished and improved the design of the alternative routes, and we are still working on other arterial routes so that our people can have seamless journey times to and from their places of work.

”So, there is nothing commuters should worry about in this period. We will ensure the repair work on Third Mainland Bridge does not overburden them. We will be deploying over 650 LASTMA officers on the road to control the traffic,” Sanwo-Olu said.

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