Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Frederic Oladeinde, has said the Third Mainland Bridge would be opened fully to vehicular traffic in February.
Oladeinde said this on Friday in an exclusive interview with our correspondent, noting that the rehabilitation of the bridge had to be pushed from January 2021 to February due to the effect of the #EndSARS protests.
He said, “It was supposed to be January but it is now February 2021. It has been moved by a month. The first phase is finished, the second phase has started.”
The Federal Government had announced that the bridge would be closed for six months for maintenance works. Construction was scheduled to be done in two phases, three months on each carriageway.
Speaking on the outlook of transportation for Lagos State, the commissioner said the state was trying to integrate all transport modes into a card that can be utilised by residents.
He said, “The government is going ahead with the rail. We are still constructing the blue line and we have reached an advanced stage with the red line which would soon commence.“
He added, “We are ramping up water transport, we are connecting it with the Bus Reform, making sure that all our transport modes are integrated. We are extending the common ticketing system which we currently use on the Bus Rapid Transit System to the waterways and when the rail comes on board, we will extend it to the rail as well.
“Basically, people will have a card that can be used over various modes of transport.”
Oladeinde sought private sector investment to boost water transport, adding that on their part, plans had been made to expand the Lagos Ferry Services Company fleet.
He said, “We are encouraging the private sector to run water transportation. We are increasing LagFerry’s fleet from 12 to 18 and we are also in a constant dialogue with the private sector who are trying to buy more boats.
“For example, we have about 307 boats plying our waterways, including the private sector. We want to increase it by another 50.”
Regarding the gridlock situation, Oladeinde said the state government had begun to resolve all bottlenecks responsible for gridlocks in the state.
So far, he said, six points had been identified and were currently being worked on.