The Minister for Works?Mr. Mike Onolememen, at a Senate Works Committee hearing on Monday 18th of Feb told the members ?that fresh repairs on the Third Mainland Bridge will cost N5 billion. This is on the back of an allegation that appeared on the papers last week that the bridge was set to collapse. The Third Mainland Bridge is a very important economic infrastructure in Lagos and is perhaps one of the most important structures the FG has in the economic capital of the country.
With back and forth talks as to its structural elements news like this give me the chills. The Minister tried to debunk fears that the bridge was in danger of collapsing alluding that there were no threats of major piling issues but serious steel corrosion threats. Here are some of the important quotes I got from this;
“The final report submitted by NSD in November 2011 indicated ‘extensive’ deterioration of embedded steel reinforcement in piles, concrete degradation and loss of concrete material as well as discontinuities in some foundation piles which had apparently affected the load bearing capacity of the piles,”
“I now wanted the entire pile by pile investigation to be carried out so that we know exactly what to do. After all, the most critical sessions of the bridge, the first two sessions where we need to carry out immediate repairs from information available to me by people who did the test, will not need more than N5billon to carry out these repairs.”
“Based on the report of the investigations, there is no evidence of immediate threat of failure of the pilings. No cases of total loss of piles, clearance between the pile and pile cap or other major anomalies were reported on the tested piles”.
“Although serious steel casing corrosion was noticeable, it was pointed out that the steel casing has no structural function regarding pile bearing capacity, as they simply served as form works to the R.C Piles,”