The Third Mainland Bridge was unusually free on Thursday morning, as many of its users diverted movement to alternative routes.

The development was possibly a misunderstanding of the announced date of closure.

The Lagos State Government had announced that it would temporarily close down the bridge for four days, “starting from midnight of August 23 to midnight of August 26, 2018”.

However, the surprisingly free state of the Third Mainland Bridge on Thursday morning, suggested that people might have misunderstood the message, thinking the bridge would be closed by 12 a.m. of Thursday, instead of 12 a.m. of Friday.

This is caused by the apparent ambiguity in using midnight, as contained in the message by the Lagos State Government.

The National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST), physical sciences laboratory, and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce, explains that “if a date/time is referred to as at midnight on Friday, October 20th’ [or midnight of August 23 as announced by Lagos State], the intention could be either midnight, the beginning of the day or midnight at the end of the day.”

To avoid misunderstanding the time references, NIST advised that “specification of an event as occurring on a particular day at 11:59 p.m. or 12:01 a.m. is a good idea, especially legal documents such as contracts and insurance policies. Another option would be to use 24-hour clock, using the designation of 0000 to refer to midnight at the beginning of a given day (or date) and 2400 to designate the end of a given day (or date).”

Consequently, the confusion could have been better managed, had the announcement simply read “12 a.m. of August 24 till 12 a.m. of August 27, 2018”, or “11:59 p.m. of August 23 till 11:59 p.m. of August 26,” or simply use the 24-hour clock.

The bridge would be reopened at midnight on Sunday, August 26, 2018.

Pending the reopening, the state has advised motorists to use the alternative routes.

Alternative routes include the Ikorodu Road; Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway/Agege Motor Road, and the Gbagada Expressway.

Road users heading to Fadeyi area of Lagos State from Ketu or Ojota are advised to use the Ikorodu road.

Motorists from Lagos, Abeokuta, Agege, Ogba and Ikeja to make use of Oshodi via Mushin Ojuelegba to connect Carter Bridge into Island, while those from Ikorodu, Maryland are to make use of Funsho Williams Avenue, formerly, Western Avenue via Yaba to Oyingbo and connect Eko Bridge into the Island.

Motorists from Okokomaiko, Festac, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway are enjoined to go through Ajegunle via Marina Bridge to Ijora to connect Carter Bridge to Apongbon into Lagos Island.

Also, motorists from the Island are expected to ply Eko Bridge and Carter Bridge into Mainland, while those in Lekki Ajah can also make use of Epe axis through Imota into Ikorodu.

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