Rehabilitation works is being accelerated on Outer Marina network of roads in Lagos State to improve accessibility toward closure of Falomo Bridge for repairs.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, made the disclosure on Saturday during inspection of the Rehabilitation of Outer Marina Road and Eko Bridge through Apongbon Bridge with Access Ramps Project.
He said work had begun on the Falomo Bridge but had yet to be completed because the phase that required closure was shifted to avert gridlock as other projects were ongoing.
He said that ongoing Rehabilitation of Outer Marina Road and Eko Bridge through Apongbon Bridge with Access Ramps Project was recording speed due to Sukuk funding.
Fashola said accessibility was important to avert gridlock during an eight-week planned closure of the Falomo Bridge for repairs.
He said: “We have to close the Falomo Bridge sometime this year for at least eight weeks to finish the bridge maintenance work we are undertaking.
“We have slowed down that decision because of this road (Outer Marina) project.
“We think that it is sensitive to Lagos commuters and Lagos residents to keep one lane between Victoria Island and Ikoyi open while we are working.
“Once we progress beyond Onikan toward Ebute Ero, sometime this year, we would have to close Falomo Bridge to finish our work there.”
Fashola said the Federal Government earlier delayed work on Falomo Bridge to complete the Third Mainland Bridge to reduce congestion and hardship to road users.
He said: “Once there is a route through from Awolowo Road through Onikan to come this way (Ahmadu Bello Way), then that is a good time to quickly deal with Falomo Bridge so that once and for all, our operations here, including the bridges, are complete.
“The heavy and the difficult part will be from Apongbon, Ebute-Ero through CMS – how we manage traffic there working with Lagos State Government and Federal Roads Safety Corps while construction is going on.”
The Minister said the 8km component of the project, around Ahmadu Bello Way, was connecting major commercial areas on the axis and contributing to the ease of doing business on Lagos Island.
Fashola said: “This is one of 44 roads currently being financed by Sukuk across Nigeria.
“Again, this speaks to the fact that no zone is left behind.
“Sukuk is not in all states but it is in all zones.”
He gave the assurance that another Sukuk would be launched in 2021 to finance part of the deficit in the budget depending on market indices.