I was talking to Yinka one Tuesday morning and I told her that I had to leave early because the Third Mainland Bridge was partially closed for repairs and she asked me, ‘What’s that?’
So, I’ll start by apologizing to non-Lagosians for my assumption of knowledge of a shared phenomenon.
For those of us outside Lagos, the Third Mainland Bridge is one of the major connectors between majority of the mainland and Island. It’s like the Niger bridge, only many stretches longer and wider because it is the second longest bridge in Africa, only after the 6th October in Egypt.
This used to be the road less travelled during the lockdown as people had to stay at home in to curb the spread of the virus. For four months, the bridge was typically empty and if it was shut down for construction then, no one would have felt the impact.
But here’s what happened; just as the lockdown was about to ease, the Federal Government announced a 6-month emergency rehabilitation project on the bridge. This meant that it would be partially operational till January 2021.
In a recent conversation with an Uber driver, I proposed that ‘if we had started this project in late March, which I considered the inception of the pandemic, the project would be completed by October 2020’. But for some reason, now that people have to go back to work seemed to be the best time to begin work on the most treaded bridge in the whole of Lagos.
Anyways, while there’s nothing that can reverse this mandate, here are a few ways we can help ourselves:
First, please use Google maps. Right now, it has become a necessity but if you don’t have the skill of map reading, you might want to download a radio app on your phone or tune in to traffic news from the stations in your vehicle so that you can stay informed on the best routes.
Leave your house on time in the mornings; sleep on your office desk or in your car when you get to work before call time. Trust me; it will be better that you did this than set out to work an hour before work time because you will get to work at mid-day. This might sound like pessimism but it is what it is.
Seek out a colleague who lives close-by because driving in this traffic is exhausting. If you can avoid it for a few days, please do. You cannot come and go and die! Work stress plus traffic is the worst combination ever.
That said, remote working is a major alternative, considering what we’ve been through. If your company and role permits, take it.
It might cost you more in data, but consider this as a substitute for your transportation fare and pamper me package because the stress that people are going through this period is out of this world.
Do you have any more tips for us? Please comment and share for people who might need them.