Fashola FG to spend N270bn on repair of bridges in 3 years, Minister says

Fashola, however, said the plan will depend on what the ministry gets when the 2017 budget is passed.

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Babatunde Fashola in a file photo in Lagos REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye play Babatunde Fashola in a file photo in Lagos REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye
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The Federal Government will spend N270 billion for the management of bridges in three years, Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing said on Tuesday, January 3.

Fashola stated this while inspecting rehabilitation work of expansion joints on a section of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

"We now have a three-year plan affecting over 50 bridges across the country for maintenance, repair and restoration and it is going to cost about N270 billion,"  he said.

The minister, however, said the plan will depend on what the ministry gets when the 2017 budget is passed.

He said: "Our plan is to start with about N70 billion to N100 billion a year, starting with the very critical ones so that they don’t collapse and then we move to the less critical ones and then to the not too endangered ones.

"We have surveyed all the bridges and we know what is needed and we just need appropriation approval. These kinds of assets are difficult to rebuild and our preoccupation now is to keep them in full and useful, repair, and maintenance for them to really achieve their useful life."

According to the minister, the section inspected on Tuesday is an alignment of the Lagos outer ring road.

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He said the rehabilitation work was awarded some years back by the federal government when there was an indication of weak alignment on the Lagos Outer Ring Road.

He explained that the "Lagos Outer Ring Road is the beginning of what we turned to the Third Mainland Bridge. It ends just about here (Adeniji axis) from the outer Marina."

Fashola said the rehabilitation work being done by the contractor, Borini Prono Construction Company, was caused by ecological problems, erosion, and sand mining among others.

"So, sections of this road have moved as a result of sub-soil displacement and some work was awarded to correct it, but the contractor was telling me that it hasn’t been completed because they were not paid. So, they just got money when this administration resumed work," he said.

He further explained that "that is only part of the story; the other side of it is that most of the bridges built in the country in the last four to five decades have not been under any form of maintenance, structured or unstructured. What has been happening is that we wait until it gets bad, gets worse, and fails then we come and repair it.

"We intend to change that; you’ve seen what we have done with the Jaji Bridge; the Tambuwal Bridge in Kano, which the federal executive council just approved for repair; all emergency repair work also in Ijora, Lagos. We intend to change that if we get the cooperation from the National Assembly this year."

He added that now that the contractor has been remobilised to site, the rehabilitation is expected to be finished by November 2017.

 

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