The implementation of the project will also see the upgrading of roads totalling 5.2 kilometres to connect the two sides of the bridge.
It is expected that, upon completion in 2021, the bridge will ease congestion in a grand plan designed to save the staggering amounts of money lost every year owing to road traffic jams in the city as well as add to the beauty of the commercial capital.
The budget for the project is 556.1bn/-, with the Tanzanian government pumping in 49.45bn/- and South Korea’s Exim Bank chipping in with a 206.643bn/- loan.
Speaking at the event, President Magufuli said the project constituted part of government’s continued efforts to upgrade transport and other physical infrastructure in the city and across the country.
“I recommend that we name this bridge Tanzanite because some of the money going into its construction will come from sales of the rare gemstone found only in Tanzania, while this will also serve as a way to market it,” he said.
The bridge is to stand as the longest in Tanzania, followed by the 970-metre Mkapa Bridge (across Rufiji River) and the 720-metre Ruvuma Bridge.
The country also boasts Dar es Salaam’s Nyerere Bridge (680 metres) which links Kigamboni and Dar es Salaam and Magufuli Bridge (384 metres) across Kilombero Bridge in Morogoro Region.
The project is a result of an agreement signed in July this year between the government of Tanzania and South Korea’s GS Engineering and Construction, which will undertake the project.
The signing ceremony was held in Dar es Salaam and was witnessed by President John Magufuli and the Prime Minister of South Korea, Lee Nak-yon.
President Magufuli was upbeat that the construction of the Dar es Salaam bridge would appreciably boost government revenue and ease business and other interactions among residents of the port city.
“We thank the government of Korea for their kindness and their support to us. They are indeed true our friends and development partners,” he noted, saying Tanzania would continue cooperating with foreign countries and international agencies.
The president also cited Dar es Salaam’s Mloganzila University Teaching Hospital and Kikwete Bridge across Malagarasi River in Kigoma Region as some of the other projects which had drawn similar support in the recent past.
Dar es Salaam, a city of more than five million people, can afford a sigh of relief with the coming into fruition of various projects expect to substantially reduce the menace caused by costly traffic jams that often bring business to a near-standstill.
The recent completion of the Tazara flyover and Nyerere Bridge several years back have significantly pointed to that effect.