Nigeria’s First Suspension Bridge Opens To The Public at Lekki-Ikoyi, Lagos


The Lekki-Ikoyi suspension bridge which spans about 1.358km long and costs about N29 billion, almost $184.6million to build has been touted to be West Africa’s first suspension bridge and arguably Africa’s longest. The bridge was built by Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. and has a total length of 1.358 km. The bridge is expected to decongest traffic in Lekki area and is a cynosure of all eyes because of its beauty.  SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>>>
Julius Berger has five years contract to maintain the bridge and could be renewed at the expiration of the term. “In line with the policy of the present administration to ensure that all infrastructural facilities in the state are in conformity with the mega city status by the year 2015, the construction of Admiralty-Alexander (Lekki-Ikoyi) link bridge was conceived as a solution to the problem of the perennial traffic bottleneck on Lekki-Epe Road, particularly around the Elegushi Round About and Lekki Phase I.The bridge is designed to serve as a strategic by-pass and to reduce the travel time along Falomo Bridge, Alfred Rewane Road, Independence Bridge and Ahmadu Bello Way. The project will raise the property value along the corridor.

The construction of the bridge generated employment for about 315 skilled and unskilled labour throughout the construction period. The bridge is expected to improve the living standard of the people and enhance social interaction, he added. Julius Berger Nigeria Plc began the construction of the bridge in October, 2008. The total length of the main bridge is 466m. The length of Cable Bridge is 170m (the suspended section), the height of Pyron is 87m from water level navigational requirement while the clearance average 9m above high water level. The width of the bridge (carriageway) is 8m by 2; walkway of the bridge, 2.0m by 2; road works at Ikoyi End is 338.7m, while the road works at the Lekki End is 311.5m. According to a brief from the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, the challenges encountered were at the two landing points at Lekki and Ikoyi ends, but negotiations with the affected land owners at Lekki end yielded early resolution which allowed the contractor to commence construction works in October, 2008.

The Lagos State Government has announced May 29th, 2013 as the official opening day of the bridge to the general public.The bridge was awarded to construction giant, Julius Berger plc and is now completed. A Lagos-based lawyer and social activist, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, had dragged the Lagos State government to a Federal High Court in Lagos, challenging planned tolling of the bridge. He wanted the court to determine whether the state government has the right to toll a bridge constructed with public funds. It was rumoured that the state was proposing N500 per trip on the bridge to be concessioned to a private toll collector. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>The case is still pending in the court. But the state government had argued that it was yet to decide whether or not to toll the bridge. Governor Fashola speaking on the occasion of his 2,100 days in office marked in Lagos on Tuesday, in response to a question by Okoya Thomas, an elder statesman, said the delay with the bridge has nothing to do with the pending court case.He did not give specific details why the bridge which was earlier scheduled for opening November last year is still not opened, but said it will be opened soon. However, insider information at the disposal of BusinessDay shows that the bridge will eventually be opened to the motoring public in March (next month). It was earlier rumoured that the state government intends to collect N500 per trip as toll on the bridge which links Lekki phase 1 housing estate and Alexander Way in Ikoyi. The state had denied the allegation that it was planning to charge N500 per trip. A senior official of the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure had told BusinessDay this could not be true. In its defence during the hearing of the case, the state government argued that it was yet to decide whether or not to toll the bridge

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