Construction of the Maputo/Catembe bridge is expected to begin in the first few months of next year, said the company managing the project, “the largest single suspended span on the African continent,” which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
About to enter the final phase of preparations for the work, Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul (EDMS) Friday presented the suspension bridge development plan, which will link the north and south shores of the Mozambican capital’s Bay channel.
The bridge itself will be 680 metres long, have two towers 137 metres high and two anchor blocks for suspending cables and make the project “simple” to carry out said Vicente Miranda, an EDMS engineer, noting that the two pillars of the bridge were designed for the ends of the channel, so that they do not interfere with maritime navigation in the area.
At the north end, he said, one of the towers will be installed in the port of Maputo, while the second tower will be built over the Maputo bay waters – just a few dozen metres from the shore of Catembe – which required construction of floating platform.
Before construction of the two structures, “about 40 storeys” high, 24 piles must be installed to a depth of 100 metres, and 2.2 meters in diameter on each of the banks on the which the towers will be erected, said Miranda, giving assurances that the original budget of US$725 million remained within initial limits.
Both the bridge and the Maputo Ring Road (ECM) are being implemented by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and ECM is already in its final stage of construction and includes seven road sections over a distance of 74 kilometres.
Ismael Sulemane, an EDMS engineer, who also manages this project, said the ring road was 75 percent complete, despite a delay of about six months, so it is only expected to be completed by the end of the first half of next year.
The complex process of relocation of services and families – about 2,300 in total – of which 1,700 are already in their new locations, was the source of the delays, he said, adding that the budget remained unchanged despite the extension of the schedule of work.
Moreover, population relocation is also the challenge of the project of the Maputo/Catembe bridge, according to Vincent Miranda, as it will affect about a thousand households: one hundred in the Catembe district (South) and 900 in the Malanga neighbourhood (North).
Most of these family homes will have to be demolished to allow for construction of the North approach viaducts (1,097 metres) and South viaducts (1,234 meters) and their connection to the Catembe/Ponta do Ouro and Boa Vista/Boane roads (both included in the budgeted cost of the suspension bridge) and to the Maputo Ring Road. (macauhub/CN/MZ/PT)