To cushion traffic congestion from the closure of the third mainland bridge, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has deployed forty feet floating jetties to help bring water transportation services closer to commuters during the six months period scheduled for repairs of the bridge.
The floating jetties compliment the flagging off of four brand new water transportation routes located at Adekunle (Yaba), under the Third Mainland Bridge outward Oworoshonki from Yaba, another at Lekki Phase 1 by NIWA Police Post, Oyingbo and at Oworoshonki, in bound the island.
As at Friday, two of four new routes, at Adekunle (Yaba) and Lekki Phase 1 were opened for immediate operation while the remaining two at Oworoshoki and Oyingbo will be put use after minor dredging of the waterfront.
Engineer Sarat Omolara Briamah, Lagos Area manager of NIWA, disclosed that the effort which is subject to review through out the duration of repairs on bridge, is to bring succour to over thirty-three thousand commuters who ply the Third Mainland bridge daily.
” This alternate transportation services certainly will help reduce traffic flow, save users of the bridge expected stress, loss of valuable man hour and also ease vehicular movement of goods and services out of the island, not foreclosing the health benefits of using water transportation” she explained while Flagging off the effort on Friday in Lagos.
Engineer Braimah noted that this intervention by NIWA is well thought out as the effort will not only to bring water transportation services closer to Lagos communities but will provide the needed data for initiating a blanket floating jetty projects across the vast Lagos Inland Waterways.
” Our Managing Director, Dr George Moghalu mandated us in Lagos to be futuristic and proactive in the discharge of our obligations; this is in response to the challenge of the partial closure of the bridge. It is also part of a holistic new agenda which the Authority is deploying to open up waterfront areas, ensure the use of floating jetties as a strategic plan to make every part of Lagos accessible by water.
“Security will be provided round the clock at the identified take off points by NIWA police and sister security agencies while the organised boat operators in Lagos will man the daily operation at the new jetties.
” We are collaborating with the Lagos chapter of the Association Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters (ATBOWATON) and their Chairman, Mr Lawal Saheed has assured us of a hundred per cent buy-in on this project.
” We are determined to make it work despite lean resources at a time like this and we expect Lagosians to embrace the effort. To make the new routes popular, we have done radio jingle and like wise, printed hands bills to be distributed at strategic points to motorists and other commuters who will be encouraged to park their vehicles either at home or at the designated jetty areas and take to the waters for ease of doing business even after the bridge is fully opened to capacity operations “, Engr Braimah stated.
The Area Manager added that all categories of water transportation services will be monitored to avoid any mishap or sharp practices.
She also disclosed that some big boat transportation services partnered with NIWA on the initiative.