Last month, the Federal Government, through the office of the Federal Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola announced partial closure of the third mainland bridge in Lagos, following a pressing need for maintenance work to be effected to prevent the structure from caving in sometime in the future.
The third mainland bridge, which is a product of Nigeria’s hey days of oil boom, was conceptualized as efforts geared towards the rapid modernisation of Lagos. Since its completion in 1990, the bridge has served as the primal linkage between the two major geographical dichotomies of Lagos, the mainland and the island.
On the 24th of July, the third mainland bridge was eventually closed off from commuters. Daily Times takes a look at the scathing effect this closure has had on Lagosians so far.
(1) Aggravation of Lagos rush hour: Lagos State has served as the commercial and industrial hub of Nigeria for many decades, a factor which has encouraged increased migration to the state. As a result, the state has had to battle the perennial problem of traffic congestion during critical work hours, with succesive governments engineering different strategies to defeat this problem. It isn’t the best time for Lagosians at this time as the closure of the third mainland bridge has significantly exacerbated this already existing bane.
(2) High cost of transportation: A great number of Lagosians find themselves shuffling through the Lagos mainland and island in the course of their daily endeavours, which in effect, implies a lot in terms of transportation expenses. With the improvisational approach now needed to connect the two major geographical dissections of the state, local transportation services have resultantly hi-jacked transport fare to a considerable degree, forcing Lagosians into serious economic adjustment to cope with this undesired change.
(3)Accommodation: Being the nerve centre of the nation with regard to commerce and industry, affording modest accommodation within Lagos island remains a major challenge to the average Lagosian. Again, for many workers who expect to punch into their duty posts on time, getting make-shift temporary apartments within the island has become an option; a very expensive option as it turns out, seeing that the proprietors of these properties have seized the situation to skyrocket the standard rentage for these temporary apartments.
(4) Hamstring on mobility: Cab services constitute a major form of transportation within Lagos metropolis. With the closure of third mainland bridge, many of these service providers, particularly those operating within Lagos island have elected to boycott shuffling into the mainland for the fear of traffic, thereby leaving many who have come to depend on this service stranded.