Work begins on new railway bridge over the Umbeluzi River in Mozambique

10 August 2015

The ceremony to lay the foundation stone for construction of a new railway bridge over the River Umbeluzi, in the Boane district of Mozambique’s Maputo province, is scheduled for Monday, state Mozambican port and railway company CFM said.

The new bridge will replace an existing one, which was designed by late Portuguese architect Edgar Cardoso and is considered a masterpiece of engineering, and its construction is the responsibility of Mota-Engil África.

In a statement cited by daily newspaper Notícias, CFM said the work, costing an estimated US$14.7 million and with an implementation period of 15 months, was needed because the current bridge’s prestressing cables are in very poor condition, and could rupture.

The new railway bridge will be built at kilometre 37.7 of the Goba line, in the vicinity of the current bridge which, when the Ressano Garcia railway came to a halt, was considered as an alternative route for the flow of goods from South Africa to the port of Maputo and vice versa, but that option was discounted early on due to security issues.

With an approximate length of 226 kilometres between the Matsapha Industrial Park and the port of Maputo, the Goba line has capacity to receive trains with 50 wagons tarvelling at speeds ranging between 50 and 60 kilometres per hour.

Traditionally, the Goba line has been used as a route for sugar exported from Swaziland through the port of Maputo, with amounts ranging between 200,000 and 240,000 tons per year. (macauhub/MZ)