Lagos state is currently home to the longest bridge in Nigeria. If you are wondering what bridge that is, it is the famous Third Mainland Bridge. Third Mainland Bridge is not just the longest in Nigeria but also the longest in West Africa. In fact, it used to be the longest in Africa until it got knocked back by the 6th October bridge in 1996.
The Third Mainland Bridge
The Third-Mainland Bridge is one of the three bridges linking Lagos Island to Lagos mainland. The other two bridges are the Eko Bridge and the Carter Bridge and they both can`t match the Third Mainland bridge in size and lengths. The completion of the abandoned Third-Mainland Bridge was a collaborative effort of the Gen. Babangida-led Federal government and the Raji-Rasaki-led Lagos state government. The bridge was designed and was constructed by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and commissioned by President Ibrahim Babangida in 1990. The 11.8-kilometer Bridge, otherwise known as Ibrahim Babangida Boulevard, is one of the national monuments that define the metropolitan Lagos landscape.
The eight-lane Bridge starts from Oworonshoki connecting Oworonshoki-Oshodi-Apapa and the Lagos-Ibadan expressways. Then, running all the way down to Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island. Midway through the bridge, there is a link that connects to Herbert Macaulay Way in Yaba. While driving on the bridge, you can easily see the Makoko shanties, a thriving community whose livelihood revolves around the water. The area is characterized by wooden contraptions standing on planks and stilts driven deep into the water floor. Furthermore, the contraptions spread out on the waters, form hamlets that crouch around the glittering edifices of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
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However, the Third Mainland Bridge has suffered some setbacks over the past few years as there has been no decrease in the amount of stress it is going through. In 2006, commuters were complaining that the bridge was vibrating noticeably, indicating that it needed urgent attention. As a result, the government closed down the bridge as work commenced to rectify the situation. Different portions of the bridge were fixed at different times to ease traffic. Work was completed as at January 2013 and the bridge was open for full public use.
Surprisingly, less than N1Billion naira was spent by the Babangida administration to complete the Third Mainland Bridge after the abandoned project was restarted. It will take much more than that to build this type of bridge these days.
light sleeper, heavy dreamer.