The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has made a strategic response to the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge by deploying floating 40-feet floating jetties to help bring water transportation services close to commuters throughout the partial closure of the bridge.
The Lagos Area Manager, Engr. Sarat Lara Briamah, stated that the floating jetties are to compliment the flagging off of four brand new water transportation routes.
The new transportation routes are located at Adekunle, under the third mainland bridge outward Oworoshonki from Yaba, Lekki Phase One by NIWA police post, Oyingbo and Oworoshonki, inbound the Island.
Two of the four new routes, Adekunle (Yaba) and Lekki Phase One were opened for immediate use while the remaining two at Oworoshonki and Oyingbo will be put to use after minor dredging of the waterfront ambiance.
The effort which is subject to review throughout the duration of repairs on Third Mainland Bridge, was in response to bring succour to over 33 thousand commuters who ply the all-important link bridge in and out of the island to work and other sundry businesses.
She explained while Flagging off the routes in Lagos on Friday that, “This alternate transportation services certainly will help reduce traffic flow, save users of the bridge expected stress, loss of valuable man-hour and to ease vehicular movement of goods and services out of the island, not foreclosing the health benefits of using water transportation.
Braimah noted that the intervention by NIWA will not only 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, under the watch of NIWA.
The NIWA boss in Lagos noted that 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 of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON) and their Chairman, Mr Saheed Lawal, who assured of a hundred per cent buy-in on this project”.
Engineer Braimah further explained that all categories of water transportation services will be monitored to avoid any mishap or sharp practices.
“We expect Lagosians to embrace the effort and to make the new routes popular, we have done radio jingles and likewise, 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,” she stated.
Already, the big boat transportation services outfits such as Tarzan boats, Texas Connection, Sealift and Seacoach, have signified readiness to deploy their boats to boost the NIWA initiative.