The Federal Road Safety Corps on Saturday reiterated that motorists plying the Third Mainland Bridge should stop all fears and agitations over the partial closure of the bridge for repairs.
The Lagos State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Olusegun Ogungbemide, restated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, following the long queue by mainland-bound motorists, waiting for afternoon peak period switchover.
NAN reports that the closure of the bridge was arranged in a manner to give priority to traffic during peak periods in and out the Island (morning and afternoon), to forestall gridlock during the six-month-long repairs.
Since there is huge traffic movement from Mainland into the Island every morning, priority is given to Island-bound motorists to have unhindered movement in the morning peak period between 12 midnight and 1pm daily.
Also, since huge traffic moves from the Island to the Mainland every afternoon, priority is given to mainland-bound motorists to have unhindered movement in the afternoon peak period between 1pm and 12 midnight daily.
There are, however, two twist points at both the Adeniji end and Adekunle end of the corridor to allow the repairs at the appropriate sections on the bridge.
Reacting, Ogungbemide said: “As at 12 noon, so many vehicles are already lining up to Ilubinrin end waiting to access the bridge for afternoon peak period priority to traffic from Island to Mainland.
“There was a lot of build-up of traffic.
“I did not expect this.
“I don’t know the reason for the agitation and fear because they have the priority of road going back from Island back to mainland from 1pm. till 12 midnight.
“Traffic being stationed and waiting for afternoon switch is not necessary.
“Coming to wait at the boundary for the switchover is not necessary.
“They should have gone to use the alternative routes rather than coming to the boundary for the traffic switchover and keep waiting.”
The FRSC boss said this development “unfortunately” led to traffic blocking those that were going through Ilubinrin and other exits.
According to Ogungbemide, with this priority, about 80 per cent of normal traffic on the bridge had been taken care of, while the remaining 20 per cent should use the alternative routes during the less peak period – morning and afternoon.
He said: “My advice to motorists is that there should not be unnecessary fear and agitation.
“The Third Mainland Bridge is partially closed; it is not totally closed.
“It is still open to 80 per cent of total traffic usually on the bridge.
“The few that are going to be affected during the less peak period are the ones that are to use the alternative routes and these routes have been worked on.”
According to Ogungbemide, the FRSC is using the weekend to do a kind of natural simulations to know what it will likely encounter in the coming weeks.
The FRSC boss said the corps personnel were visible on the bridge at each point with all other traffic and security agencies.
He said: “As motorists enter the Adeniji Adele outward Lagos Island, they make a switch to the left into Island-bound lane from mainland because by then, traffic managers would have stopped those coming to the Island from mainland.
“At the Adekunle end, motorists will make a switch back to their normal lane.
“So, those that are coming from Mainland into Island are still free, but at Adekunle end, they will go through Ebute-Metta where they can navigate their ways through Oyingbo, Costain, Eko Bridge back to island.
“Vehicles coming from Herbert Macaulay Road, Yaba can take Adekunle under the bridge going back to mainland.”