Lagosians Dump Third Mainland Bridge For Alternative Routes Hours Earlier To Closure Date
With barely a few hours to the closure of the Third Mainland Bridge, which is the longest and one of the three bridges from Lagos Island to the Mainland, we learned that the bridge was unusually free on Thursday morning, as many road users diverted movement to alternative routes.
The diversion from the bridge by road users was in apparent confusion to the time of closure as announced by the Lagos state government.
The Lagos State Government subsequently announced that it would temporarily close down the bridge for four days, “starting from midnight of August 23 to midnight of August 26, 2018”.
But the bridge was surprisingly free during midday of August 23, suggesting that Lagosians might have misunderstood the message, thinking the bridge would be closed by 12 a.m. of Thursday, instead of 12 a.m. of Friday – caused by the apparent ambiguity in using midnight, as contained in the message by the Lagos State Government.
Reacting to this, Sahara Reporters quoted the National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST), physical sciences laboratory, and a non-regulatory agency of the United States Department of Commerce, as explaining 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.