Being the most populous city in Africa, Lagos is naturally the home to many business and residential areas. Since there are lots of people in Lagos, and there must always be a way of transporting them to different places, and this partly accounts for the reason why there are some major bridges in Lagos state.
Tracing back to the 1970s and 1980s, there was saw an exponential rise in the traffic in Lagos. As a result of this, the construction of roads and bridges to foster decongestion became a real necessity.
As Lagos continues to expand and carter for this expansion, more bridges are being constructed despite the many bridges that the state boasts of. At the moment, Lagos has numerous bridges. So, below are some major bridges in the state.
Third Mainland Bridge
Out of the three bridges that connect the Lagos Mainland to the Lagos Island, the third Mainland stands out as the lengthiest; the Carter and Eko bridges are the other two. It is also a very important bridge because all of Lagos will feel the ripple effects of anything that happen in that bridge.
Also called the Ibrahim Babangida Boulevard – after a one-time Nigerian Head of State who also launched it, the Third Mainland bridge transverses a distance of 11.8 kilometers. The bridge links the mainland part of Lagos to the Island section of the city.
It begins from Oworonshoki, which is connected to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and Apapa-Oshodi expressway and terminates on Lagos Island, at the Adeniji Adele Interchange. The bridge also has a midway connection that will lead motorists to Yaba. It was constructed by Julius Berger Nigeria PLC and formally opened for operation in 1990.
Third Mainland Bridge features eight different traffic lanes with four of the lanes running in each direction. Also, the bridge has a median separator, which is responsible for the clear boundary between the two lanes– traversing the midpoint.
Carter Bridge was constructed in 1901, making it the first and also one of the major bridges in Lagos state. It is among the three bridges that link the Mainland to the Island of Lagos. Carter Bridge was the only bridge that links Lagos Island and the Mainland at the time it was built.
It terminates in the Lagos Island area of Idumota while starting at Iddo on the Mainland. It was called was named after former Governor for the Lagos Colony, Sir Gilbert Thomas Carter.
Carter Bridge was built in 1960 by the British before Nigeria got her independence. While the bridge was demolished earlier, it was restored in the fall of the 1970s after independence. The flyover from Alaka-Ijora, at the span’s end of Iddo end, was finished in 1973.
It serves a very crucial function to Lagosians, particularly for the “Mainlanders.” While Idumota traders took over the bridge, the bridge still retains its posture and strength.
Eko Bridge is among the major bridges in Lagos state that link the Lagos Mainland to the Island. It was primarily built for faster transportation of citizens. Bolu Akande raised the notion at a leadership meeting in 1963, but he was given a deserving audience in 1965.
It begins on the Mainland from Ijora Olopa and terminates at Lagos Island’s Apongbon area. The bridge lagoon section stretches about 430 meters. Eko bridge and its 1350-meter landward length were built in phases from 1965 to 1975. It acts as the main entry point for car traffic entering the Island from the Surulere and Apapa parts of Lagos. Julius Berger Nigeria PLC built the bridge.
Fourth Mainland Bridge
For the first-timers who just came to Lagos, they may be tempted to ask, why is Lagos full of bridges? What is the total number of bridges in Lagos? Where can we see them, and why were they even built in the first place?
Bridges are built to serve as the point of connection between roads, with a specific bias to roads that are not readily accessible. To put in perspective, residents of Apapa, Ijora, Ebute Metta would find it extremely discomforting traveling up to the Island if the Eko bridge was not there as the Lagos Lagoon would be a big interference.
Hence, it is correct to imply that bridges are connectors of various locations for the purpose of making journeying shorter and faster; this is exactly the function that the Fourth Mainland Bridge serves. As a result, it rightfully earned its spot on our list of the major bridges in Lagos state.
To some Lagosians, this bridge is meant for the elites and the rich. It is so because the bridge seems to be the place where the well-to-do people of Ikoyi and Lekki go for some exercise. It is no wonder that Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, found it interesting to visit there for some workout session when he visited Nigeria a few years back.
Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that occupies a space of 1.36 km. It connects the Ikoyi part of Lagos to the Phase 1 part of Lekki. It was formally commissioned for operation on the May 29th, 2013 by Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Governor of Lagos State as of that time.
It was built by Julius Berger Nigeria, plus it also doubles as the first bridge with a cable stay in Nigeria. It features a headroom of nine meters above the sea level to enable the maritime traffic to flow. Also, the bridge has a toll gate that is set at the bridge’s end, and its use is limited to commercial and private automobiles with a maximum seating capacity of no more than 26.
Tolling is problematic with some Lagosians who claimed that its use should be accessible at no cost because the bridge was constructed with public funds.
The importance of these major bridges in Lagos state cannot be overemphasized. Without them, movement and commerce within the state will be severely impacted. Hence, there is every need to cherish them!