If you live in Lagos and commute via Ikorodu road and Western Avenue, you will be aware of the tanker vehicles that stretch from Jibowu all the way to just before Apongbon.
The tankers are sitting on bridges. Now, when bridges are built there is a consideration for their weight bearing capacity. Bridges can either be Truss, Beam, Suspended, Arch, or a combination. According to Wikipedia, “The arch bridge can hold the most weight of the three, the deck truss bridge can hold an average amount of weight, and the beam bridge could hold the least amount of weight. This experiment tested the arch, deck truss, and beam bridges to see which could hold the heaviest amount of weight.”
A Kibin.com essay also points to the arch and the truss bridge as having the most weight bearing capacity. “In 2004 Nicholas H. Anicetti did a science fair on the effect of bridge design on weight bearing capacity. He tested the Plank Board, King Post, Truss and Arch Bridge. His hypothesis was that the Arch Bridge would have the highest weight-bearing capacity. In his experiments he did five repeated trials to achieve the most accurate results. His final results proved the Truss bridge to have the highest weight-bearing capacity.”
Now, Lagos used to have three major bridges – Eko, Carter and Third Mainland. The three major bridges in Lagos are concrete bridges supported by pillars and columns. They are hybrids of the Beam Bridge and the beam bridge according to research has the lowest weight bearing capacity.
The Lekki-Ikoyi bridge is the only different one – a cable stayed bridge.
The other bridges are flyovers and overhead bridges. They too are concrete bridges supported by pillars and columns.
In the past one year since work began on Apapa roads, tankers have made their homes on the bridges. Their presence on those bridges is causing undue stress on the bridges and constituting a clear and present danger.
thisislagos spoke to a civil Engineer who built most of the bridges, major roads and high rises across Nigeria and he said the tankers should not be on the roads and bridges.
According to him, “bridges are built to bear collateral load as the vehicles pass by but what you have now is static load. This is causing the expansion joints to open up because the bridge is sinking.”
Last week, the Navy and Lagos state government issued a quit notice to the tanker drivers. Their warning was largely disregarded and on Tuesday the naval authorities began turning back trailers.
For those wondering why trailers should be turned back, we invite you to watch this video and see. We cannot have hundreds of tankers sitting on overhead bridges that were built for tankers to drive through and not stay put.