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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Illegal mining exposing major bridges to danger in Lagos -Works minister

The Minister of Works, David Umahi, has said that illegal mining contributes to the erosion of pier caps of major bridges in Lagos, and how the Federal Government will remedy the situation.

“Some of the piles have rusted, which has gotten to the concrete piles, and some of the reinforcements of the concrete piles are exposed,” the minister lamented.

Umahi spoke after a routine inspection of the under-deck project at Iddo Bridge, Carter Bridge, and the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

He said, “Berger is the contractor doing the Iddo Bridge, Carter Bridge, and Third Mainland Bridge, and we have seen the pace of work made and are happy with it.

“Also, we have promised to increase the pace of work against the incoming lagoon tide in June.

“On top of the bridges, we have almost finished the deck job, though we are extending the deck job, and then we are also constructing CCTV and observation room.

“Then, below the deck, we are working on the piers, and then, we now see the pier caps. These are the works that are going on under the deck.

“We are working on a number of bridges we inherited. We inherited construction work on Eko Bridge, Marina Bridge, Liverpool Bridge, Iganmu Bridge, and Independence Bridge, all done by Buildwell.”

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“We will be doing a meeting with Julius Berger tomorrow [today] to look at one of the most serious and challenging jobs, and that is the work that is right below the pier caps, that is the piles and then the deck beds.

“Like I have always said the piles are being held by the skin friction of the sand, of which some of these sands have been eroded over the years, and illegal mining also contributed to the eroding of the piles.

“Some of the piles have rusted which has gotten to the concrete piles, and some of the reinforcements of the concrete piles are exposed.

“In 2013, there was an examination of all the piles of the Third Mainland Bridge, in 2014, there was a repeat, but about 40 per cent, and so we are procuring consultants together with Julius Berger to look at what is going on there.

“In addition, we are working with Berger and other international companies on how to design the remedy.

“There is no solar on Carter Bridge yet, but we would like to do what is being done on Third Mainland Bridge on Carter Bridge, and as much as budgetary provisions would allow, a lot of the bridges in Lagos need attention, not just in Lagos, all over the country, of which I would give attention to.

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“We have considered 18 bridges, what we are doing here, we are doing at the Murtala Mohammed in Kogi State, there are a number of bridges that are ongoing, some collapsed on the expressway, some collapsed on Enugu-Port Harcourt, some collapsed between Jos and Benue, we have gone very far in all these bridges, and we have gone very far on them following the directive from the president.”

Bridget Benson
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