The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said that the Federal Government was on the verge of concluding an assessment, before embarking on the repair of the dilapidated Apapa bridge.
While inspecting the bridge in Apapa, he revealed that government was also doing a nationwide audit of bridges, to effectively plan for their repairs.
He lamented that the bridge, which was over 40 years old, was subjected to all kinds of abuses, including street trading, burning and people living underneath.
“The bridge has really been battered by us, abused by us, and as a result, we are having the contractor now to do a total evaluation of what is seen and unseen, so that we can restore the bridge to something close to its original form by the time we finish.
“We will change the expansion joints, mill the surface, replace the surface and also replace some of the reinforcements and strengthen them. We cannot reach a conclusion until we see all the engineering requirements, designs and costs,’’ he said.
Fashola said that he was working on an evaluation for the repair of all damaged bridges in Lagos and across the nation and to make provisions for them in the 2017 budget.
“We are hamstrung by budget provisions, but we hope that by next year, we will repair bridges not only in Lagos, but also in Kano, Kogi and across the country that need repairs.
“We set up a bridge repair, resuscitation and replacement team in the ministry. I am waiting for their report and that will form the basis of our budgeting process for next year,” he said.
”Instead of doing piece meal bridges here and there for all of the bad bridges, we want to have them all under focus. And I think that is the way that it is useful to work, to plan to intervene nationwide and restore all of our bad bridges,“ he stated.
He noted that other bad roads in Lagos would also receive attention, adding that contractors who were being owed for over three years were being re-mobilised back to site.