THE Federal Government, on Sunday, debunked what it termed misinformation in the social media that the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos is on the verge of collapse.
The bridge, which connects Lagos Island with the Mainland, is described as the longest and most important bridge in the country.
In debunking the speculation, the government advised the motoring public to disregard the unfounded rumour which, it argued, was not based on any empirical fact.
The government said the rumour lacked merit and was intended to frighten Nigerians and cause disaffection among the people.
Speaking in a statement, on Sunday, the director in charge of Highways Design (Bridges) in the Federal Ministry of Works, Mr Dominic Avishigh, said a joint inspection on the bridge was first carried out in 2006 by a combined team of engineers from the Federal Ministry of Works, Julius Berger Nig Plc and M/S Borini Prono, a member of the consortium that constructed the bridge, following insinuations that it was oscillating.
He said at the end of the inspection, it was resolved that an internationally reputed bridge consultant be invited to carry out further inspection of the bridge.
According to Avishigh, the consultant was invited to carry out series of inspections and investigations along with the contractors, while the studies revealed that there was no threat of collapse on the bridge.
“The preliminary report of the underwater investigation, though not yet concluded, revealed that the metal casing housing the concrete is rotting away, as a result of the activities of certain sea creatures attracted to that section of the Lagos Lagoon, due to the discharge of organic effluent into the Lagoon.
“Following the report, the Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, wrote the Lagos State government to stop the discharge of organic effluents into the lagoon in the area.
“An independent consultant was again invited to review the underwater report and photographs. At the end of the review, the independent consultant allayed the fears of immediate danger to the bridge, explaining that the metal casings were not structural elements, but that they served as formworks during the construction work and acted as additional protection for the structural elements,” he said.
He, therefore, said the rumour lacked merit, while he called on Nigerians to go about their normal duty.