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FG to Public: Don't use Lagos Airport Road Flyover for Now

Admin 08-Jan-2021 Nigeria_News


Ayodeji Seriki


The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Friday warned motorists and pedestrians to stay off Airport Road Flyover in Lagos. Popoola warned that there would be risks in using the bridge for now.

It explained the passage, which was burnt by fire a day ago, is a potential danger zone, and should be avoided until its structural safety is ascertained.

The bridge which runs over Toyota Bus Stop on the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway being reconstructed was up in flames when a petrol tanker caught fire Thursday.

Both federal and Lagos State governments carried out joint inspection Friday to determine the degree of possible damage to the bridge and adjoining roads.

Popoola, who led the state and federal officials, drew worries regarding the safety of the bridge, adding its structural integrity had yet to be ascertained.

According to him, the inspection involved taking samples from the burnt bridge for analysis to be able to ascertain the level of damage and where and at what pointe repairs would be needed.

Popoola explained 200 meters of the rigid pavement of the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway reconstruction project, being carried by the Dangote Group, was burnt, adding that the deck of the flyover was burnt and its pier badly damaged, raising fears of structural instability of the bridge.

The controller equally maintained the bridge was barricaded after the fire because of safety concerns, regretting that the barriers were removed at night.

“We are taking some samples to go and analyse before we know the structural stability, but physically, a lot of damage has been done to this pier of the bridge.

“The integrity is already compromised.

“Yesterday the road was barricaded but in the night, some people went and removed the barricade.

“We are advising that members of the public should not take the risk of using this bridge,” he said.

Popoola said that about 200 meters of the bridge deck as well as the pavement of Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway being reconstructed was affected by the inferno.

He added that one of the piers – pillars of the bridge – was badly burnt, making the ministry unsure of its structural integrity and safety.

He noted that outcome of tests would ensure appropriate action on the flyover constructed by Julius Berger Plc, as well as the highway under reconstruction by the Dangote Group.

According to the controller, the Federal Highway Act empowers the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to prosecute whoever caused damage to assets of the Federal Government.

His words: "This Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway project is ongoing, and we have not even completed it. Now, due to carelessness of drivers, this fire occurred, and you can see the level of the damage.

“The pavement that we have spent a lot of money, up to 200 meters – have been affected; that will cost a lot of money,” he said.

He further clarified the ministry had been working in collaboration with Lagos State Government to resolve the menace of trucks and other infractions affecting road infrastructure.

The Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Works and Infrastructure, Mrs Aramide Adeyoye, stated the state government, through its Ministry of Transportation, would embark on strict enforcement of road worthiness regulation.

She said government’s agents would begin to enter depots and loading bays to tackle petrol tankers that are unworthy to load  petroleum products.

She explained truck accidents causing damage to road infrastructure had become recurrent.

Her words: “Oftentimes, they claim that the roads are bad. What do you say about this one now that the road is very good, there is no pothole anywhere,” she said, adding truck accidents were most times caused by reckless driving.

Calling for attitudinal change, Adeyoye said fires caused by tanker accidents had caused much hardship on road users, urging that road unworthy trucks should stop coming into Lagos State.

According to her, supports of the Federal Government was important as a way out of what she called the ‘hydra-headed monster’.

Mr Cyril Zango, Deputy Corps Commander (Operations), Lagos Sector Command of the Federal Roads Safety Corps, said investigations were on as regards the accident, adding that, if found guilty, the owner and the driver of the tanker would be prosecuted to serve as deterrent to other road users.

Disclosing the offending truck had been impounded, Zango explained articulated vehicle drivers engaged sharp practices to evade checks.

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