Lagos State Government has assured commuters of a smooth job in ensuring a free flow of traffic in the state for four days duration of integrity test on the Third Mainland Bridge this weekend.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson gave the assurance yesterday during a press briefing to restate the alternative routes for vehicles for the duration of the closure of the bridge.
Disclosing the alternatives routes, Lawanson said that motorists from Lagos-Abeokuta motor road, Agege, Ogba and Ikeja are to make use of Oshodi via Mushin, Ojuelegba to connect Eko bridge into Lagos Island.
“While those from Ikorodu, Maryland are to make use of Yaba, Oyingbo, Iddo to access Carter bridge into Idumota, Martins street and to Balogun while motorists from Okokomaiko, Festac, Oshodi-Apapa expressway are enjoined to move through Ajegunle via Marine bridge to Ijora to connect Carter or Eko bridge by Ijora Olopa to Apongbon, Lagos Island.
“Conversely, motorists from the Island are expected to ply Eko bridge and Carter bridge into Mainland, while those in Lekki Ajah can also make use of Epe axis through Imota into Ikorodu”, Lawanson said.
The palliative measures, the commissioner said is to ensure movement with least inconvenience by commuters.
He promised that the state government will be updating Lagosians from time to time on the arrangements adding that traffic personnel from the police, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA are on the field to ensure hitch free traffic.
“Report so far from our men in the field on the first day of the exercise says that they are doing an excellent job and there is free flow of traffic.”
While apologising for inconveniences the closure and present arrangement might cause road users, the commissioner urged commuters to contact the government through the ministry of transportation and media if there are any hitches, promising that the government will make it as smooth as possible.
He said the integrity test on the bridge which was postponed till now because of the appeal of the state government to the federal government not to compound the traffic situation caused by indiscriminate parking of tankers in Apapa roads, was imperative and a standard practice all over the world to ensure safety of road users and also not to increase hardship being experienced by commuters.
Also, LASTMA said it had deployed about 650 operatives as part of efforts to ensure free flow of traffic through-out the four-day closure of the bridge.
Addressing the specially-assembled traffic officers of the agency on Thursday, LASTMA’s General Manager, Mr Olawale Musa said in view of the strategic importance of the bridge to the economy of Lagos and Nigeria in general, the operation to control traffic during the closure would be treated as a major national assignment and a call to service.
According to him, the agency was not oblivious of the volume of traffic on the bridge on hourly and daily basis, and the consequences of diverting such huge traffic on the alternative routes during the period, hence the need to see the cooperation of members of the public.
He said: “As a professional agency with requisite personnel and experience, I want to assure Lagosians that we would do everything to make sure that motorists and commuters are not subjected to any discomfort during the exercise.
“Our traffic officers have been adequately mandated to make sacrifices, demonstrate discipline and professionalism on all the alternative routes during the period of the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge.
“As officers of this agency, you must be passionate and show compassion to motorists, especially those who are not familiar with the alternative routes and other roads in the metropolis,” Musa charged the officers.
While urging motorists and commuters to be patient and cooperative to ensure free flow of traffic on all alternative routes during the closure, the LASTMA boss said it was important for the public to strictly adhere to traffic rules and directives to ensure hitch-free exercise in the overall interest of all stakeholders.