Recently the news that the bridge may soon collapse rend the air, the buzz first leaked out through the social media and later the government came out to give their side of the story. The rumour is that the recent maintenance/repair work on-going on the Third Mainland Bridge was ordered by the Federal Government as a result of a report produced by a company experienced in underwater surveys. The content of the report revealed that the underwater metal casing housing the concrete pile on which the bridge stands have rusted totally, and this accounts for the vibration experienced between Adeniji Adele and Adekunle Fajuyi portions of the bridge. The implication is that Third Mainland Bridge between Adeniji Adele and Adekunle Fajuyi was on the verge of collapsing and required comprehensive work to be carried out on the foundation.
But in a swift reaction to the rumour, Dominic Avishigh, director of Highways Design (Bridges) in the Ministry of Works dismissed the rumour, explaining that a joint inspection of the bridge was first carried out by a combined team of engineers, following insinuations that the bridge was shaking in 2006 and that at the end of the inspection, it was resolved that an internationally reputed bridge consultant be invited to carry out further inspection of the bridge, and that after the inspection by the international bridge consultant it was reported that the bridge was not on the verge of collapse. The yet-to-be concluded studies confirmed what the rumour said that the metal casing housing the concrete was rotting away which they said is caused by the activities of certain sea creatures attracted to that section of the Lagos Lagoon due to the discharge of organic effluent into it.
Though the ministry claimed the bridge is in good condition only that the foundation is rotting away, the president it was gathered ordered similar survey to be carried out on every of such bridges in the country while releasing funds for the repair of the Third Mainland bridge. Insiders, however, alleged that rather than execute what the money was released for, some people in the government decided to use the opportunity to enrich themselves. This we were informed was the reason Borini Prono Construction Company, the company that was supposed to make the repair could not execute the main repair work they were supposed to carry out on the bridge.
A statement by the Federal Ministry of Works also claimed the minister of works, Mike Onolememen, has since written to the Lagos State Government to stop the discharge of organic effluents into the lagoon in the area while it has also employed the services of another independent consultant on bridges to review the underwater report and that the consultant said that the fears were unfounded as there is no immediate danger posed by the rotten foundation. The statement stated further that the ministry’s investigation is the reason for the on-going rehabilitation of the expansion joints on the Third Mainland Bridge.
Sources, however, revealed that the repair works embarked on by the government is just a palliative measure to cover for the mismanaged funds released for the repair of the bridge and the current repairs will still see them coming back next year to work on it or it may collapse and this will eventually confirm the story as initially circulated in the social media.