The Federal Government and the Lagos State Government worked together to open the Eko Bridge again after 15 months of repairs.
Remember that a fire started by illegal trading under the Apogbon section of the bridge did a lot of damage to it. It was said that the fire’s intensity had weakened the bridge’s main parts and support piers, so the whole bridge had to be closed for extensive repairs along its entire length.
One of the three bridges that connect the mainland to the island of Lagos is Eko Bridge.
The bridge’s reopening was a big relief for drivers and commuters, who had a hard time getting to and from Lagos Island for months.
At a drive-through event for the reopening of the flyover on Saturday night, many excited commuters met Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Federal Comptroller of Works, Engr. Olukorede Keisha.
Sanwo-Olu said that the repair work at the Apogbon line was done, but he also said that maintenance work on the infrastructure would continue, which would lead to some closures over the next few months.
The governor apologized to the people of Lagos on behalf of the Federal Government for how long it took to get the bridge back in working order. He also stressed that it would be dangerous to restart the bridge without fixing the damaged part first.
"I’m very happy to tell you that we’ve done a lot of tests with the contractor from the Federal Ministry of Works, and we think the Apogbon part of the Eko Bridge can now be opened to cars. But not all of the repair work on the bridge has been finished. All along the infrastructure, there are still a lot of bearings that need to be fixed.
"In the future, different parts of the bridge will be closed more often, but not for more than a week or two at a time. We need to do this to pull the bridge up and finish the repair work. “We are reopening the bridge to help drivers who have had trouble because of the repairs,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor said that the company doing the job would also fix up a side road in the corridor to stop people from using the bridge again.
Sanwo-Olu said that people would no longer be allowed to trade continuously under the bridge to keep the flyover from getting any worse.
The Governor gave all sellers and illegal squatters under the Eko Bridge seven days to get rid of their things and leave.
After the deadline, he told the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Enforcement Unit (Taskforce) to take down any illegal structures that were found under the bridge.
Sanwo-Olu said, “We are using this to tell people who trade under the bridge that we will not stand for any kind of illegal activity under this bridge or any other bridge in the State.” The bridges are important to the State, and we can’t just stand by and let a few people destroy them.
“We have seen how the collapse of Eko Bridge affected the whole city. We can’t pay for these bridges to be closed again because of illegal operations. We will get rid of all squatters from Ijora Olopa to Costain, and there will be no markets under the bridge.”
Keisha thanked the Lagos State Government for working with the Federal Ministry of Works to speed up the bridge repairs. She also said that the State Government’s help made it possible for the bridge to reopen.
She said that full repair work on the Eko Bridge had already begun before the fire, which made the contractor stop the work and focus on fixing the damaged parts. After the fire-damaged parts were fixed, Keisha said the contractor would keep doing upkeep work to strengthen the bridge for public safety.
Keisha said, "The Lagos State Government saving us would not have made it possible to reopen the bridge. What is happening here would not be possible without the help of the State Government.
"We value working together and getting help when we need it. After thinking about how hard it was for drivers, Governor Sanwo-Olu used the State’s resources to help the Federal Government get the job done.