12 February 2013

Nigeria: Third Mainland Bridge Not Falling

Works ministry Tuesday rebuffed reports that the stability of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos was under threat.

Works minister Mike Onolememen said speculations about the imminent collapse of the bridge "are based on mere perception", insisting the bridge was not "in any way defective".

"There is no civil engineering test to justify the statement," the minister said in an interview at the ministry's headquarters in Abuja.

He added that despite the reports, the ministry was "progressing in ensuring routine maintenance" after engineering companies confirmed the adequacy of pile concrete on the bridge.

Admitted defects

Reports about the Third Mainland Bridge have mounted on the back of defect claims.

Onolememen admitted that "serious" corrosion of steel casing on the bridge was "noticeable".

But he said the steel casing had "no structural function" regarding the ability of the bridge to bear load and the strength of its foundation, since they served only as form works to the piles.

He also admitted a "defect on the eight expansion joints of the bridge were repaired and replaced since last year."

He said the report being quoted as basis for the speculating imminent collapse of the bridge was a report into under-water inspection from the ministry.

On different days twice last week, he drove on the bridge, Onolememen said, asking "Lagosians to continue using the bridge"

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