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Bridges are built to span obstacles, yet leaving the ways underneath them open. They can be built over road, valleys or over a body of water. The Third Mainland Bridge is built over the Lagos Lagoon.

Did you know that the longest bridge in West Africa is the Third Mainland Bridge?

Third Mainland Bridge connects Lagos Island to the Mainland. The bridge, starting from Oworonshoki (on the mainland), links Apapa-Oshodi expressway and Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and then ends at Adeniji Adele (in Lagos Island). From the island, the bridge also links Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba.

Did you know that the bridge is called Third Mainland Bridge because it is the third of the three bridges that connect Lagos Island to the Mainland?

The other two bridges are the Eko Bridge and Carter Bridge. The bridge, standing right on the Lagos Lagoon, measures up to about 11.8km in length. An interesting fact you should know is that it will take about fifteen minutes to cover the entire length of the bridge driving. It was built by the renowned German engineering and construction firm, Julius Berger Nigeria PLC, and was commissioned by the former President Ibrahim Babangida 1990.

Did you also know that the bridge was officially named after the former President who commissioned it?

However, it is hardly called by that name. Up until 1996 when, the 20.5km long bridge was built in Cairo (6th October Bridge), Third Mainland Bridge was the longest bridge in Africa. Now, it ranks as the second longest bridge in Africa.
third mainland bridge at night
Third Mainland Bridge offers bilateral vehicular traffic, totaling six lanes – three on each side – thereby giving access to various views of the Lagoon, University of Lagos waterfront, Makoko area, and Marina skyline. Owning to the bridge’s linkage to several areas in Lagos such as, Ketu, Oworonshoki, Yaba, Apapa, Obalende, CMS, Ikorodu, Maryland, Isheri, Gbagada, Oshodi, Ikeja, and even the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, commuters often experience heavy traffic on the bridge. Traffic is usually the highest in the mornings and evenings, explainable because those are the rush hours of the day when people are going to work and going back home respectively. In January 2013, the bridge was reopened after it had been partially closed at different times to allow for repairs on the bridge – commuters had, at some time, complained that the bridge was vibrating and that there were cracks in the asphalt. There was partial closure on the bridge during this time, leading to increased traffic. Third Mainland Bridge serves as a monumental view for both locals and tourist. At night, the bridge is lit up with lights that further add to its beauty. Its spiral, interlocking structure will leave any viewer awed. Another interesting fact about the bridge is that there is hardly anyone living in Lagos who has not plied it at least once.   Feature image photo credit:

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This article was first published on 17th March 2018

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