Lagos’ “Roman bridge” to reopen after three frustrating years

It’s the announcement locals have been waiting to hear for three years – Lagos’ old Roman bridge will finally reopen “at the beginning of August, at the latest”.

The bridge’s repair work is “nearly complete” and the contractor has guaranteed it will be ready to reopen “at the end of July or beginning of August”, deputy mayor Hugo Pereira has told Lusa news agency.

The Ponte D.Maria II was closed both to traffic and pedestrians in February 2012 due to its “imminent risk of collapse”.

Since then, drivers travelling to and from Meia Praia and towards Portimão have had to make large detours to enter and exit the town, with bottlenecks always building up in the summer.

“Traffic jams were one of the biggest issues,” Pereira added, saying the bridge closure also affected the local economy.

Repair work cost nearly €1 million – 65% of which was covered by community funding. Renovations included the construction of a new road bed and “architectonic rehabilitation”, including reinforcement of the bridge’s 12 columns.

With an exact date for the bridge’s construction lost in the passage of time, what is certain is that its last repairs dated back to the 1960s.

But locals will simply be celebrating another opening-up of the town which finally got its EN125 bypass up and running at the beginning of the month (click here