Africa’s longest suspension bridge that is under construction in Mozambique is set for commissioning on the 25th of June this year; same date as Mozambique’s independence in 1975.
Known as the Maputo-Catembe Bridge, the US $700m worth bridge, is part of a larger project that includes a set of access roads on both banks and other roads, including one leading to Ponta do Ouro, a beach area near the border with the province of Natal in South Africa.
Construction of the bridge began in 2014 in a joint construction and management project between the Mozambique and Chinese governments under the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and was set for completion in 2017 but was postponed due to insufficient construction materials.
“ After verifying that it was not possible to complete the work in 2017, we defined the first half of this year as a new deadline to finish the construction of the bridge and so far the work executed accounts up to 97% of the project,” said Silva Magaia, the president of Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul.
The 3km-long bridge aims to connect Maputo with Catembe on the southern part of Maputo Bay cutting down the driving time to four hours from the initial nine hours taken to drive round the bay. With a width of 680m, it will also be able to carry high volumes of traffic comfortably in both directions. This will replace the current ferry system and various fragmented road systems that transport goods and tourists from South Africa and Swaziland into Mozambique.
Maputo-Catembe Bridge will also pave way for development at the Catembe area, particularly in commercial and housing sectors, overcoming the problem of a lack of space for more buildings in the capital city.
Apart from being Africa’s longest suspension bridge, the Maputo-Catembe will also be ranked among the 60 largest suspended bridges in the world.