Lagos - The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday summoned Julius Berger Nigeria Plc and the Federal Controller of Works for Lagos State to appear before it over the rehabilitation of Third Mainland Bridge.
In a plenary, the House asked them to appear on Monday next week to explain the condition of the bridge and postponement of rehabilitation work on the structure.
Julius Berger, which built the bridge under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, is to explain the current state of the bridge.
The controller of works is to explain why the rehabilitation of the bridge was postponed indefinitely.
The Chief Whip, Mr Razak Balogun, who moved the motion to invite the firm and the official, drew the attention of the House to the danger posed by the bridge.
Balogun expressed worry that the bridge might have been facing serious pressures that could lead to disaster if not quickly addressed.
He said that the 12km bridge was built in 1990 when the population of the state was barely five million and that it had long overdue for repairs.
``Many times when I ply that bridge, I'm afraid because I don't even know what section of the bridge is safe.
``I did a research recently on bridges and what I discovered was very worrisome. I discovered that the overall structural condition is graded between 0 to above 70,’’ he said.
According to him, any bridge below 70 is not in good condition.
``The expansion joints on the bridge were already giving way. If you stand on that bridge, you would notice how much it vibrates and you would be scared.
``I know people are worried about the heavy traffic that would accompany rehabilitation but like many things in our country, we will not take action until a disaster happens,’’ he said.
In his contribution, the Committee Chairman on Works, Mr Rotimi Olowo, said one could see the lagoon water through the holes resulting from the expanded joints.
He added that the barriers were also giving way, and called for proper maintenance instead of the cosmetic green and white painting being done currently.
``Dana airline tragedy is still very fresh in our memory. If anything goes amiss on that bridge, we will be talking about hundreds of people," he said.
Olowo said the Lagos State Government had sensitised residents on how traffic would be controlled during the partial closure of the bridge.
``Residents were already bracing up for the challenges that would result from the partial closure of the bridge when the government again announced a postponement.
``Though it is not clear why the government took the decision, sources say it was due to improper planning,’’ he said.