Reps want parked trailers removed on Lagos bridges
By Gabriel Okoro,Abuja
The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to carry out comprehensive inspection and evaluation of bridges in Lagos with a view to ascertain their viability and
The call is sequel to a motion entitled: “Need to urgently save Eko Bridge, Long bridge in Fadeyi, Ojuelegba and
National Stadium bridges from imminent collapse due to Parking by Tankers, Trailers, and other articulated vehicles in Lagos State” sponsored by Mr. Enitan Badiru (APC, Lagos) during plenary on Wednesday.
Raising the motion, Mr. Badiru explained that the Eko bridge is one of the busiest bridges in the country with a vehicular
traffic of over a milion cars daily and links Lagos Mainland and with Lagos island which is the commercial nerve centre of the country.
He expressed worry on the continued permanent parking of Trailers, Petrol tanker trucks and other articulated vehicles starting from long bridge in Fadeyi, to Ojuelegba bridge, to National stadium bridge and directly to Eko bridge in Lagos State noting that the four bridges in question are the bridges that link lkorodu road, Fadeyi, Ojuelegba, National stadium and Eko bridges from Ibadan expressway even to
the Apapa wharf, which is the nation’s number one sea port.
According to the lawmaker, “for the past six months, trailers, petrol tanker trucks and other articulated vehicles have made the top of the four bridges their permanent parking place while they wait for their turns to load or offload at the wharf.”
Explaining further, Mr. Badiru said the bridges were not designed to carry such heavy trucks on daily basis not to talk of parking thousands of them pe ty on the bridges.
His words: “Our traffic laws forbid parking of any vehicle whatsoever on bridges, because it may lead to bridge collapse. And that all over the world, cases of bridge collapse since 1800 till date have been as a resulit of bridges carrying more weight over a period of time as against the initial designed weight”.
“These four bridges serve as a commercial route with billions of Naira businesses transported through them on daily basis, so the collapse of any or all these bridges will bring unimaginable disaster to the Nation’s economy, and loss of many lives”, he warned.
Many traffic accidents with some resulting in fatalities have
occurred as a result of arbitrary permanent parking of these Trailers on the bridges.
Parks for these Trailers, Trucks and articulated
vehicles within and outside Lagos State, especially neighbouring Ogun state to park are said to be already established while waiting to load or offload at Apapa wharf, the lawmaker noted.
He said he is highy disturbed that the drivers have refused to use the designated parking areas and prefer to park on the bridges and that the security agencies who ought to enforce the trafic laws seem to have beern overwhelmed by the sheer number of trailers, tankers and articulated
Mr. Badiru worried that vehicular activities are still on the increase on Lagos roads especially as the Yuletide set in and it will further put more pressure on the stability of the bridges.
“This only compounds the case as a disaster waiting to happen, as continued parking of articulated vehicles will
lead to imminent collapse of the bridges.
Speaking also about the security implications of having these trucks parked on the bridges at this period, the lawmaker hinted that hoodlum, miscreants and robbers are now using the opportunity of the traffic gridlock to perpetrate evil, and rob innocent citizens, motorists and commuters on daily basis especially at night.
The motion however sailed through the House without debate owing to it being infrastructure related that does not allow for further debate on the floor.
To this end, the House mandated the Inspector General of police and other Security agencies to, as a matter
of urgency evacuate these heavy vehicles from the bridges and compel them to use
parks established for them and prosecute those who float the order.