Lagos - Lagos Governor Babatunde Fashola on Monday urged residents of the state not to entertain fears over the planned closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for repair works.
Addressing newsmen in Ikeja, the governor said the closure would be partial, and gave assurance that measures would be put in place to mitigate its impact on road users.
The second phase of the repairs on the bridge would commence on July 1, and would last for four months.
The Federal Controller of Works in the state, Mr. Oluwatoyin Ibikoya, said the partial closure of the bridge during the repair period was necessary to allow contractors easy access to the project site.
The news of the planned closure of the bridge had created apprehension among residents, especially commuters who foresee nightmare on other roads due to resultant gridlock.
Fashola said, what will be done on the bridge is to fix the expansion joints which are the metals between the roads.
``Contrary to what has been reported, it is not a complete closure, but a partial one. Anywhere diversion will take place will depend on the section of the road that will be worked on.
``The target is that before the end of the year when the traffic is much, the repair works would have been completed. It is actually in the interest of the people.
``The responsibility of the residents is to make use of alternative means to help reduce the quantum of vehicles on the road,’’ he said.
The governor said that similar repair work was done on the bridge in 2008, adding that traffic was successfully managed during the period.
He said that the repair was also timed during schools’ vacation period to reduce the impact of any resultant gridlock.
Fashola commended the Federal Government for its routine repair of the bridge, and promised that the state government would work in tandem with it to ensure its success.
He urged officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to focus only on managing traffic on federal roads, saying that their frequent encroachment on state roads was wrong.
The governor urged the FRSC to do more to ensure safety on major highways in the country rather than competing with municipal authorities on the management of traffic on municipal roads.