New bridge over Zambeze River in Mozambique to be built without cost to the state

14 July 2010

Maputo, Mozambique, 14 Jul – The new bridge over the Zambeze River linking the city of Tete to Benga will be built without cost to the state, the head of the Mozambique Road Fund, Francisco Pereira, said on Monday, cited by the Maputo-based daily Noticias.

The new Benga bridge will be located about 6 km downriver from the current Samora Machel bridge. It will be built and managed by Portuguese and Mozambican companies and the cost of its construction recovered through toll payments.

The management consortium comprises the Portuguese companies Soares da Costa and Ascendi, each with a 40 percent stake, and Mozambique’s Infra-Engineering, with 20 percent.

In legal terms, the consortium is not the same one that will build the bridge, although the same Portuguese companies are actually involved, namely Soares da Costa and Mota-Engil, which is Ascendi’s main shareholder.

Mozambican companies will also participate in building the bridge, said Pereira, without identifying them.

The new bridge is important to ease pressure on the Samora Machel Bridge, crossed by between 500 and 600 trucks per day and where traffic has been growing 2.5 percent each year. This has led to long lines of waiting automobiles, as only one heavy vehicle can cross at a time.

The new bridge will receive all heavy vehicles, while the Samora Machel span will be reserved for light vehicles and pedestrian traffic.

The concession contract for managing the new 1,500-metre bridge will be for 20 years, with a possible 10-year extension. (macauhub)