The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr Olukayode Popoola, on Friday advised the public to stay off the Airport Road Flyover in Lagos which was dangerously burnt by fire, pending the determination of its structural safety.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bridge which runs over Toyota Bus Stop on the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway was engulfed by fire when a petrol tanker burst into flames on Thursday.
The federal and Lagos State governments on Friday carried out a joint inspection to know the extent of damage to the bridge and adjoining roads.
Leading the state and federal officials, Popoola raised concerns over the safety of the bridge, saying that its structural integrity had yet to be ascertained.
He told NAN during the inspection that samples were being taken from the burnt bridge for analysis to be able to ascertain the level of damage and where to carry out repairs.
Popoola said that 200 meters of the rigid pavement of the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway reconstruction project, being carried by the Dangote Group, was burnt.
He added that the deck of the flyover was burnt and its pier badly damaged, raising fears of the structural instability of the bridge.
The controller said that the bridge was barricaded after the fire because of safety concerns, regretting that the barriers were removed at night.
Popoola warned that there would be risks in using the bridge.
We are taking some samples to go and analyse before we know the structural stability, but physically, a lot of damage has been done to this pier of the bridge.
Its integrity is already compromised.
Yesterday, the road was barricaded but in the night, some people went and removed the barricade.
We are advising that members of the public should not take the risk of using this bridge.
Popoola said that about 200 meters of the bridge deck, as well as the pavement of Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki Expressway being reconstructed, was affected by the inferno.
He added that one of the piers – pillars of the bridge – was badly burnt, making the ministry unsure of the structural integrity and safety of the bridge.
He said that outcome of tests would ensure appropriate action on the flyover constructed by Julius Berger Plc, as well as the highway under reconstruction by the Dangote Group.