Wednesday was “hellish” for commuters in the ‘centre of excellence’ as they groaned in unexplainable gridlocks across the city. It didn’t take long in the day before news broke out that the Federal Government had closed (since 12 midnight) the Alaka and Costain portion (inwards Apongbon) of the Eko Bridge indefinitely, to enable investigations to be carried out on its worn-out bearings.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who led officials of the state government for on-the-spot assessment of affected portions of the bridge in the early hours of Wednesday, appealed to road users for the short notice but explained that the decision was inevitable to prevent a situation that could compromise the integrity of the bridge and lead to possible loss of lives and property.
Although the federal and state governments said the emergency closure was precautionary to prevent the total collapse of the 40-year-old bridge, it is important that decongesting traffic for people and goods in an economic hub like Lagos remain a top priority of the government so as to ease the burden of commuting from one part of the state to another and to ensure that economic activities do not suffer, due to loss of man-hours.
For an aspiring smart city like Lagos, a viable rail system (especially for long-distance travel) remains the top solution and we hope this government will work at making this happen within the next four years.
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.