THE IMMINENT COLLAPSE OF EKO BRIDGE.
By: Sonny Iroche
Our nonchalant attitude to governance and preemptive action against avoidable calamities as a country, to say the least, are unimaginable and legendary.
For quite sometime now, Lagosians, especially those who reside in Apapa and its environs or have the unfortunate experience of going in and out of Apapa environ for one reason or the other, have the unenviable and tortuous menace of the hundreds of trucks that queue up on the Eko bridge to access the Apapa and Tincan Ports. The queue starts from Apapa and now stretch beyond Surulere.
As I was writing this article, one of my nephews, said to me, that if the Eko bridge should collapse, that it would be disastrous for Lagos residents. But I quickly retorted that, it’s not if, but when the inevitable collapse of Eko bridge happens that the consequences would be unthinkable and better imagined. I am not a doomsayer neither is it my wish that this happens. I am only sounding the almost late alarm, so that those concerned take preventive and immediate action to mitigate the collapse of the bridge.
While I’m not an Engineer nor do I claim to be one or knowledgeable about the structural engineering of bridge construction. However, from research and discussions with those who know, bridges are not meant to carry Dead Weight for over a long period of time as is the case with Eko bridge. Bridges, generally are built with Live Weights i.e moving trucks and vehicles.
There are also considerations for the number of axles and weights of vehicles that go on bridges, through weigh bridges measuring devices. Which seem to be lacking in some of our roads and bridges.
A number of observers and experts have advised the decongestion and decentralization of the the Apapa and Tincan Ports, to other Ports in the country, such as Calabar, Port Harcourt, Sapele, Coco, Onne and the several Containers inland Terminals. After all, some of the cargoes been ferried through the Lagos Ports are heading to the South East, South South and other geopolitical zones of the North.
It is high time, that the exclusive berthing of cargo and Petroleum carrying vessels in Lagos Ports is decentralized, to, first, save lives from the frequent carnage on our roads, undue pressure on our roads and bridges, decongest Lagos roads and reduce the multiplier effect on road traffic. Further, to a large extent, resuscitate the economies of the Regions, where these other idling Ports are located.
To be fore warned, is to be fore armed. And a stitch in time, saves nine, as the sayings go.