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The Lagos State Government on Friday apologised to residents over inconveniences resulting from the ongoing closure of the Third Mainland Bridge for the three-day integrity test.

Mr Ladi Lawanson, the Commissioner for Transport, gmade the apology at a news conference in Ikeja.

He said that the test ought to have been conducted earlier by the Federal Ministry of Works but was shifted because the state government felt the timing was wrong.

“Appeal was made then to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and they agreed to the point and it was not closed at that time.

“But now, effective palliatives have been in place for residents to be able to traverse as much as possible.

“We apologise and sympathise with the motorists for any inconveniences it might have caused,” the commissioner said.

Lawanson said that motorists on the Lagos-Abeokuta Motor Road should go through Agege-Ikeja down to Oshodi via Mushin, Ojuelegba, to connect Eko Bridge into Lagos Island.

He noted that those vehicles from Ikorodu and Maryland are to make use of Yaba, Oyingbo, Iddo to access Carter Bridge on to Idumota, Martins Street and then to Balogun.

“Motorists from Okokomaiko, Festac, Oshodi, Apapa expressway are enjoined to ply through Ajegunle via Marine Bridge to Ijora, to connect Carter or Eko Bridges by Ijora Olopa, to Apongbon, Lagos Island,” Lawanson said.

The commissioner said the integrity test would also be carried out on other bridges across the state.

He said that some other bridges in the state were also due for such test, adding that very soon, the state government would evacuate the tankers on the bridges to ensure proper test on them.

According to him, the state government will continue to update the residents from time to time on the new development.

“We are open to feedback from time to time; we apologise for any inconveniences it may have caused the residents,” the commissioner said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that passengers in Lagos had earlier on Friday experienced difficulties in getting to their destinations as commercial buses increased transport fares following the diversion of traffic.

Mr Soji Oladele, a civil servant, expressed surprise that fares had been increased by more than 100 per cent.

“I was surprised this morning to hear conductors charging N500 from Alausa Ikeja to Obalende as against N200 it used to attract.

“This is unfortunate. Many people were stranded at bus stops because they did not prepare for this increment,” he said.

NAN reports that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) had assured that efforts were in place to ensure free flow of traffic during the period.

Mr Hyginus Omeje, the FRSC Lagos State Sector Commander, told NAN that over 200 personnel were on ground at the critical corridors to ensure free flow of vehicular movement.

Omeje said that there was collaboration between the various law enforcement agencies to ensure a free flow of traffic.

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