The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), yesterday appealed for stakeholders’ understanding over the discomfort they would experience during rehabilitation works on some bridges in Lagos State.
Fashola made the appeal at a stakeholders’ meeting on the comprehensive repair of the Eko and Apongbon bridges, held at Ijora-Olopa, in Lagos.
Stakeholders in attendance include representatives of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), transport companies, Apapa Local Government officials and traffic regulatory agencies.
Top officials of the Federal Ministry of Works, the Permanent Secretaries of the Lagos State Ministries of Environment, Transportation and Office of Infrastructure, alongside their directors, were also present.
Fashola, at the interactive session, said that several portions of Eko Bridge became worn out due to years of neglect, hence the ongoing interventions.
The minister said the Federal Government was tackling the problem holistically and needed the support of stakeholders for smooth operations.
“The ministries and Local Government need to help us create awareness for people to know that we all have roles to play during rehabilitation works.
We (Federal Government) know the problem, we know the solution, we have a plan but we need your support,” he said.
The minister appealed to representatives of the truck operators to encourage their members to build truck parks.
He urged them not to always resort to ”subtle threats or blackmail” each time issues of their excesses constituting public nuisance were pointed out.
Fashola said that the colossal damage to Apongbon Bridge was being addressed by the contractors on the project.
The Managing Director, Buildwell Plants and Equipment Industries Ltd, Mr George Mhanna, gave a breakdown of the schedule for rehabilitation works on Eko and Apongbon bridges.
He said that the rehabilitation would be done in categories, prioritising the worst sections.
Earlier, making slide presentations, Mr Oluropo Oyetade, Director, Highways, Bridges and Design said 20 bearings had been changed on the 4.1km Eko Bridge.
The bridge, which links Lagos Mainland with Island, has 12 ramps.