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FEC approves N290.7m for stress test on Third Mainland Bridge

By The Citizen
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The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved a contract of N290.7m for an advanced integrity test on the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku; Minister of Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina and the Minister of State, Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, who briefed state House correspondents of the outcome of the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan said the bridge's integrity test, which would be conducted and completed within two months, was aimed at detecting areas on the bridge that needed maintenance.

The Federal Government had, last year spent N1bn to carry out repair works on the bridge. Shortly after the repairs, the Lagos State Government raised the alarm on the distressed nature of the bridge, a claim which the Ministry of Works quickly denied.

Maku said the contract for the integrity test was approved in order to save the bridge from extensive deterioration.

He said, 'The Minister of Works tabled a memorandum to seek an approval for the comprehensive underwater inspection, assessment of pilings, river bed bathymetric survey, profiling and echometric test on Third Mainland Bridge.

'The bridge is a vital artery on the Federal Highways network connecting Lagos mainland to the island.

'Following reports of oscillation and excessive vibrations of the bridge under traffic load, investigations and tests were carried out by experts on the bridge in 2008 and the reports indicated that the bridge was structurally sound but required the replacement of damaged expansion joints and bearings.

'The ministry decided that Advanced Integrity Assessment, including echometric (sonic pulse) tests on piles was inevitable in order to authenticate the findings of the Nigerian Submarine Divers Limited.

'In order to save the bridge from extensive deteriorating condition, council approved the award of contract for the consultancy services for the comprehensive underwater inspection, assessment of pilings, river bed bathymetric survey, profiling and echometric test on Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State in favour of Messrs ICECON (Nigeria) Limited in the sum of N290, 745, 000.00 only with a completion period of two months.'