Nigeria approves $53 million to maintain second longest bridge in Africa

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved about $53 million (N18.874 billion) to maintain the second longest bridge in Africa, Third Mainland Bridge, located in Lagos, the economic hub of the country.

On Wednesday, the Nigerian government approved over N99.01 billion ($275 million) for general repairs and construction of various roads across the country, including Third Mainland Bridge. N80.199 billion ($223 million) was also approved as revised amount for the second section of the 84km Lagos-Ibadan expressway project.

The required maintenance to be carried out on the Third Mainland bridge is expected to last for 2 years and 3 months and the construction firm awarded to handle this contract is Italian company Borini Prono, stated the country’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola.

Detailing the magnitude of the construction to be carried out and the reason repairs will last for 27 months, Fashola said the project will involve the replacement of 33 piles at the first phase. A total of 177 piles to be strengthened in all and expansion joints linking the bridge together would be assessed with a view to replacing the obsolete ones.

Construction projects included in the approved  N18.874 billion ($53 million) are N38.034 billion ($106 million) for the construction of the 72 kilometres-long 9th mile-Orikam road in Enugu State. N2.54 billion for the redesign and construction of the Ilie bridge in Osun State. Initially FEC approved N96.304 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan road project but was revised to N176.50 billion with Wednesday’s approval, stated Fashola.

The 11.8 kilometers – eight lane bridge was built by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and opened in 1990. In 2006 commuters reported that the bridge was vibrating noticeably and for that remedial work commenced on different portions, leading to partial closure of the bridge at different times. By 2013 maintenance work was complete and the bridge was fully ready to use.