Lagos State Government has explained why design for the 4th Mainland Bridge had to be altered
Stories: Edward Nnachi
Lagos State Government has given the reason for altering the design of the much awaited Fourth Mainland Bridge along the Lekki Peninsula. According to the government, the redesign of the bridge component of the 23 kilometres road project became imperative because of the challenges the original design posed for it (government). The bridge itself is about four kilometres.
The State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Obafemi Hamzat, an engineer, explained that such challenges involve massive demolition of buildings along the right of way of the bridge and huge payment of compensations to owners of structures that will be affected by the demolition.
Hamzat who made these clarifications at the ongoing annual ministerial press briefing of the state government, explained that not less than 69 structures have been built on the initial alignment for the construction of the bridge. He added that the rapid springing up of the buildings on the alignment forced the government to consider a redesign of the alignment to avoid massive demolition and payment of huge compensations.
The commissioner who disclosed that the government had already done the survey to establish the new right of way, said various options were looked at. He pointed out however, that the option that seems best for the government now, has about four kilometres of bridge on the water. “Unfortunately, after the survey and enumeration had been done, a lot of people have built unbelievable number of buildings. I think people were speculative in anticipation of the bridge. I think the demolition we have to do is now about 69 buildings, so we have to rethink, the amount of compensation will run into billions of naira if we have to do that”.Hamzat said.
According to him, a new alignment is currently being done that will take into consideration the Lekki Free Zone and other multinational companies coming into the axis, stressing that “So we are considering the one which makes sense to build. The alignment will shift, it will not be the same alignment again.
“You can call it Fourth Mainland Bridge or whatever, but the idea is that if it was here before, because demolition of these buildings will be much, and because some of them don’t have building plans, but they are massive buildings and it would be really bad to demolish them. So, really we don’t intend to carry out demolitions. The idea is to move the alignment now so that people don’t start going there to build again”, he explained.
While reviewing activities carried out by his ministry in the last four years, Hamzat had revealed that a total of 281 roads were constructed, rehabilitated and delivered within the period under review, adding that 201 road projects are ongoing across the state.