Commuters and motorists plying 3rd Mainland Bridge can now heave a sigh of relief following the full opening of the bridge which has been under repairs for 16 weeks.
Works Minister, Mike Onolememen opened the bridge Tuesday after eight expansion joints of the longest bridge linking Lagos Mainland with the Island were repaired. Though it cost the Federal Government N1 billion to repair the bridge, which was constructed in the 70s by the General Olusegun Obasanjo military regime and commissioned by General Ibrahim Babangida, we believe that the repair work should have encompassed replacing the dead street light and railings.
Given the huge fund spent on the project, it is amazing that replacing the stolen railings and street light was not factored into the project. For that reason, the bridge will still be devoid of these facilities that are very crucial to the safety of commuters and motorists.
As important as these facilities are, we expected that the Federal Government or the Works Ministry would place a high premium on providing street light on that bridge through which millions of people commute daily to the nation’s economic nerve centre.
It is the absence of street light that facilitates frequent robbery attacks on that bridge at night. Motorists whose vehicles break down on the bridge have always had harrowing experiences in the hands of bandits who rob and some times kill them under the cover of darkness.
The absence of street light has turned the bridge into a dangerous haven for night marauders, muggers and armed robbers who ambush their victims with ease. Sometimes motorists and commuters are attacked in traffic jams and the hoodlums melt into darkness. It is inconceivable that a bridge of such strategic importance could be left in utter darkness at night.
The minister of works should, as a matter of urgency, instruct the relevant agencies to replace the dead street light. It doesn’t require rocket science to do so. Or will another contract have to be awarded before the street light and railing are restored?