Rovuma River bridge to be completed in October 2008

10 August 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 10 Aug – The bridge over the Rovuma River separating Mozambique and Tanzania will be completed in October 2008, one month before the contract deadline, a representative of the China Geo Engineering Corporation said Wednesday in Maputo.

On the occasion of the project design presentation, the company representative specified that the equipment mobilization process was almost finished and that real construction work would begin within the next few days.

The main equipment for the project is already in place, namely 140 tons of steel bars and 300 of cement, as well as 75,000 liters of fuel, he added.

An official from the authority responsible for the Mozambican part of the bridge’s construction, Abdurremane Lino de Almeida, saidconstruction would begin in Tanzanian territory, where geological studies have been carried out to determine where to situate the infrastructure.

Besides the bridge, 10 kilometers of roadway will be laid in the two countries, able to support vehicles with three axels and cargos of nearly 650 tons, he said.

The bridge will be 720 meters long and 13.4 meters wide, with two traffic lanes and two shoulders 1.5 meters wide, for motorcycles and bicycles, and two 1.5 meter sidewalks for pedestrians.

The two countries’ governments have decided to pay for the project, as the international partners showed no interest in financing construction, he added.

Updated data released by Abdurremane de Almeida indicate that the project linking Negomano in Mozambique to Mtambaswala in Tanzania, also known as the Unity Bridge, will cost upwards of US$24.6 million.

The bridge over the Rovuma River was planned by the former presidents of Mozambique and Tanzania, respectively Samora Machel and Julius Nyerere, after Mozambican independence in 1975.

Construction was delayed due to the Mozambican civil war between Frelimo, in power, and one-time rebel movement Renamo, which ended in 1992. (macauhub)