Mozambique: construction of suspension bridge commences

05 October 2017

Construction work on the suspension bridge in Maputo, Mozambique has commenced. The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is the project contractor.

CRBC put into place the first of the 57 metallic modules that will form the deck of the bridge. The bridge links the centre of the city to the municipal district of Katembe.

The deck weighs more than 7,000 tons. Each section is 12m wide, 26m long and 3m deep. According to the Minister of Public Works, Carlos Bonete, it is possible to assemble the deck in 45 days, if the weather remains favourable.

“The first module is there, practically in the centre,” said Carlos Bonete. “The next stage is to assemble the other modules until we reach the extremities of the deck, where the main pillars are.”

There is access to the interior of the modules, which will allow maintenance of the deck, without interfering in traffic moving across the bridge. In fact after assembling the deck all that remains is the soldering and the application of anti-corrosion paint.

However, according to Bai Pengyu, of the CRBC, the corporation is committing to complete the bridge come end of 2017.

Project delays resulted from the Chinese ship carrying the deck modules arriving last week instead of in June as scheduled.

However, the main problem is that the Maputo Municipal Council, despite having years to prepare, has still not moved vendors from the informal Nwakakana street market, who are blocking the northern access road to the bridge.

The bridge, and the associated roads, including the road from Katembe to the tourist resort of Ponta d’Ouro on the border with Kwazulu-Natal, are budgeted at $725 million. When complete, this will by the longest suspension bridge in sub-Saharan Africa.

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