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Declare State Of Emergency On Third Mainland, Carter Bridges, Umahi Tells NASS

The Minister of Works, Sen. Dave Umahi has called on the National Assembly to declare a state of emergency on the Third Mainland and Carter Bridges in Lagos State.

The State of Emergency would facilitate expedited repairs of the bridges and stave off potential disasters, the minister declared during a facility tour of key infrastructural projects in Lagos State with the National Assembly Joint Committee on Works.

Umahi who stressed that urgency noted that only the Second Mainland Bridge (Eko Bridge) was allowed to take heavy vehicles for now as the Third Mainland and Carter Bridges faced critical infrastructural challenges.

He said, “We have critical underwater challenges on the Third Mainland Bridge. The first is the deflection of the slab, which is nothing to worry about as we shall repair it as we did on Eko Bridge, and it will stop deflecting.

“The second one is the deterioration of the piers, the pier caps, and the pier cap covers. The contractor was already mobilised about four weeks ago and is working on it. The cost of rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge is estimated at N21 billion.’’

He stressed that if the rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge was not done quickly, its reconstruction could cost N6 trillion.

Umahi noted that illegal mining of sand, natural underwater currents, and the rusting of the steel casing of the bridge’s pillars were the causative factors of the deterioration.

The minister also noted that the Carter Bridge was faced with the same challenges.

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“I want the National Assembly to take very special note that this is the worst of the challenges we are having on these two bridges. The cost of rehabilitation of Carter Bridge is N25 billion.

“We mobilised the contractor, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC., with N7 billion for Carter Bridge seven days ago and N6 billion for the Third Mainland Bridge,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the Chairman, of the Joint National Assembly Committee on Works, Sen. Barinada Mpigi, corroborated Umahi’s observations and called for the support of the National Assembly.

“I join you in calling on the President to declare a state of emergency on some of our critical infrastructure, especially in the road sector.

“We saw decay at the Carter Bridge and the Third Mainland Bridge. If any of these infrastructures get destroyed, we don’t know how to get humongous amounts of money to rebuild them.

“We at the National Assembly are prepared, but the initiative has to come from the Executive,’’ he said.

Mpigi stressed that it would be nice of President Bola Tinubu to immediately invoke his powers and ensure that the most critical infrastructure built decades ago got needed attention.

He observed that provisions made in the 2024 budget would not fix some of the projects.

Also speaking during the tour, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Works, Rep. Akin Alabi, assured of continued support of the parliament.

“I assure you that anything that the parliament can do to make your job easier, we will do it and continue to do it because it is good for all of us.

“Third Mainland Bridge is the most important bridge in Lagos and in West Africa. It is one of the longest bridges in Africa, and we cannot afford to toy with it,’’ he told Umahi.

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