‘716.3bn/- Kigongo –Busisi Bridge nears halfway point’

05Jul 2022
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘716.3bn/- Kigongo –Busisi Bridge nears halfway point’

CONSTRUCTION of the Kigongo-Busisi Bridge (3,200m) linking Mwanza city with neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda is close to halfway point.

Pascal Ambrose, the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TanRoads) regional manager, said here yesterday that the contractor is working day and night to ensure the project is completed on schedule, by February 2024.

Construction has reached 47.3 per cent and upon completion it will be a catalyst for reducing poverty, by its catalytic effect on economic activities,” he said, noting that the bridge will replace ferries as the principal means of crossing Lake Victoria.

The bridge will accommodate greater traffic volumes and improve the safety of users, he said, elaborating that construction has a bridge and road components, where bridge works covers the construction of an ‘extra-dosed’ bridge for 520m, while the total length will be upwards of 3,000m.

Experts say extra dosage involves combining the usual boxed in features and suspension mechanisms to cross a long stretch of the lake. The road construction consists of widening 1.66 km existing road to double lane on each side, along with an additional 1.16km road stretch on the Kigongo side and 0.5km on the Busisi side, the manager noted.

The approach roads are prolonged from existing surfaced roads to the new bridge, which will ensure that the road is passable throughout the year with ease. The air quality will also be improved with a reduced traffic volume using the ferry, reduced travel time and overall improvement of public transport, he stated.

The government-financed project is being developed by the China Civil Engineering Construction Group (CCECG) and China Railway Corporation (CRC).

The 180-tonne capacity bridge can take up to 1,600 vehicles at a time, a development that rapidly enables Mwanza to become a regional commercial hub for the Lake Victoria Basin.

The contractor implementing the project has been paid 223bn/-, while the consulting engineer has received 3bn/- in work expenses, with the government similarly paying out 3bn/- in compensation to 165 people who had to vacate land bordering the project area, he said.

The project has provided 776 jobs mostly to Tanzanians as only 56 jobs were handed to expatriates, meanwhile as the project helps train local engineers on advanced road building, with 12 engineers pursuing practical training at the site, he specified.

Three engineers out of the 12 are TanRoads employees and nine belong to the Engineers Registration Board (ERB), the regulatory institution.

Several companies are engaged in the project as sub-contractors, namely C-Labs (T) Ltd, Grinda Builders and Supplies Ltd, Hamis A. Kazika Co. Ltd, plus C&C Engineering and Planners Ltd as well as Pro Consults (T) Ltd.

 Regional Commissioner Robert Gabriel said mega infrastructure projects in the region will transform the city to an efficient trading hub in the Great Lakes Region. When the projects are completed, the government expects to attract the business community in each neighbouring country to heighten their regional activities from the lakeside city, including South Sudan and Ethiopia, he added.

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