The longest bridge in Botswana, a landlocked country in the centre of Southern Africa, is Mohembo Bridge cable-stayed bridge.
The latter is a crucial element in the country especially in the promotion of transportation to and from neighbouring countries, as well as the provision of access to ports and tourism.
Here is what you need to know about the Mohembo Bridge cable-stayed bridge
1. The conception of the Mohembo Bridge project
Plans for the construction of the Mohembo Bridge can be traced back to 2004, owing to the government’s vision to have a crossing over the Okavango River.
In December of that year, it emerged that the envisioned crossing would not just be an ordinary but an iconic bridge. This led to the submission of a total of six designs of which the elephant tusk tower design by Kobamelo Kgoboko received the thumbs up.
2. Where is Mohembo Bridge
Mohembo Bridge is located in the Mohembo Village area, Botswana. It runs across the Okavango River, connecting the Mohembo East (Kauxwi) ferry landing site with the Mohembo West (Shakawe) ferry landing site.
The location of the bridge, which is also known as the Okavango River Bridge is close to Botswana’s border with Namibia just to the north.
3. Start and end of construction of Mohembo Bridge
The construction of the Mohembo Bridge started back in 2016. The scope of the project comprised the construction of the 1.161 kilometres bridge and about 3 kilometres of approach roads.
It also included the construction of associated drainage systems, electrical installations and reticulation to the 1.161 km long bridge.
The project was completed and the Mohembo Bridge opened for operation in January 2022.
4. Mohembo Bridge Project Team
Mohembo Bridge Project was developed by the government of Botswana. Italian Company, Itinera-Cimolai Joint Venture, was the project’s main contractor.
ASTM S.P.A. is part of ASTM Group and one of the main global players in the construction of large infrastructural projects, and civil and industrial buildings.
Cimolai S.P.A. on the other hand is a group that operates worldwide in the design, supply and erection of complex steel structures.
5. Cost of Mohembo Bridge Project
The construction of the Mohembo Bridge cost US$ 80.8 million or its thereabouts.
The project was fully funded by the government of Botswana.
6. How long is the Mohembo Bridge
Mohembo Bridge is approximately 1,161 meters long exceeding Kazungula Bridge by 238 meters. This makes it the longest bridge in Botswana with Kazungula Bridge taking the second position.
Mohembo Bridge Bridge boasts a width of approximately 12.5 meters, featuring two traffic lanes and two pedestrian walkways. It also features about 3km length of approach roads.
7. The most remarkable architectural element of the Mohembo Bridge
The most remarkable architectural element of the Mohembo Bridge is the elephant tusk pylons, technically referred to as cable stays. They are strategically positioned 200 meters apart to support the bridge.
The pylons and the bridge at large are meant to pay tribute to the African Elephants, more than 150,000 of which are in Botswana, especially in the Okavango panhandle in eastern Okavango.
8. Awards and Recognitions
In addition to recognition as the longest bridge in Botswana, Mohembo Bridge earned an international award. It secured a place among the winners of the Award of Merit by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC).
According to FIDIC these awards highlight, acknowledge, and amplify the accomplishments and triumphs of consulting engineering firms and their clientele worldwide.