A US$259m Kazungula bridge is set to be constructed on a joint arrangement by Zambia and Botswana. According to Bernard Chiwala who is the Chief Executive of Zambia’s Road Development Agency, the bridge will help replace the ferry services that take place between the two countries.
Chiwala also added that the contract to the whole construction process would be given to Botswana.
The Kazungula Bridge project will be jointly financed by the government of Japan through Japan International Development Cooperation (JICA) and the African Development Bank (ADB) at a total cost of US$124.22m and it is expected to be completed in four years.
Under the agreement, JICA would provide US$41.77 million, ADB US$78.41 while the Government of Zambia would contribute US$1.57 million.
According to a joint press statement issued by Zambia’s Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications Yamfwa Mukanga and Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Mohlefi in Livingstone, the project is set to begin in July.
The two ministers noted that a lot of progress has been made in the procurement process for the contracts adding that out of the 26 companies that expressed interest to participate in the project, three have been shortlisted to bid for the project. The evaluation of the technical proposals was completed last December. The civil works for the proposed Kazungula Bridge and the railway line will comprise the construction of a 23 metres long by 18.5 metres wide rail/road bridge.
It will also include two one-stop border facilities, access roads and ramps across the Zambezi River. The multimillion dollar bridge project would help boost trade between the two countries.