With the Tanzania mainland-Zanzibar Islands Bridge and Fourth Mainland Bridge still in the planning stage, the 6th October Bridge is currently the longest bridge in Africa. Respectively, the Tanzania mainland-Zanzibar Islands Bridge and Fourth Mainland Bridge are proposed 50-kilometre and 38-kilometre bridges in East and West Africa.
In this article, “The Top 10 longest bridges in Africa” we focus on already competed bridges. Some of the featured projects will surprise you.
The Top 10 longest bridges in Africa
- 6th October Bridge in Egypt (length 20.5-kilometres)
- 3rd Mailnad Bridge in Nigeria (length 11.8 kilometres)
- Nairobi National Park Super Major Bridge in Kenya (length 6.5 kilometres)
- Suez Canal Bridge in Egypt (length 3.9 kilometres)
- Mozambique Island Bridge in Mozambique (length 3.39 kilometres)
- Maputo-Katembe Bridge in Mozambique (length 3.04 metres)
- Chora Super major bridge in Kenya (length 3.0 kilometres)
- Athi River Super Bridge in Kenya (length 2.78 kilometres)
- Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge in Mozambique (length 2.37 kilometres)
- El-Warrak Bridge in Egypt (length 2.26 kilometres)
Let us dig in
1. 6th October Bridge
Egypt’s 6th October Bridge is the longest in Africa.
Located in Cairo, the bridge is built along the River Nile and measures 20.5km. The bridge, which forms an elevated highway, crosses the Niles twice from the west bank suburbs, east through Gezira Island to Downtown Cairo. The 6th October Bridge is also used to access the Cairo International Airport from the city.
Construction of the bridge started in 1969 and was completed in 1996.
2. Third Mainland Bridge
Third Mainland Bridge located in Lagos Nigeria is Africa’s second-largest bridge. Noteworthy, the bridge carried the crown for the longest river on the continent until the 6th October Bridge was launched in 1996.
The third mainland bridge stretches from Oworonshoki, through the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and Lagos-Ibadan expressway. It ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island covering a distance of 11.8 kilometres. There is also a link midway through the bridge that leads to Herbert Macaulay Way in Yaba.
The bridge was inaugurated back in 1990.
3. Nairobi National Park Super Major Bridge
The third largest bridge in Africa, Nairobi National Park Super Major Bridge, is a 6.58-kilometre section of the 120-kilometre Nairobi–Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway.
The bridge is built at the Nairobi National Park. The average height of the bridge from the ground is 18 metres, starting from approximately 8 meters at the entrance into the northern side of the park and 41 meters at the exit southern end of the park.
This ground clearance allows large animals such as elephants and giraffes to pass through comfortably. In addition, the bridge features a 5.9-kilometre-long and 2-meter-high sound barrier on either side of its guardrail to minimize the noise caused by trains.
Construction of the Nairobi National Park Super Major Bridge was completed in 2019.
4. Suez Canal Bridge
The bridge is also known as the Egyptian–Japanese Friendship Bridge, the Mubarak Peace Bridge, the Al Salam Bridge or the Al Salam Peace Bridge.
It is the fourth-largest in Africa crossing the Suez Canal at El-Qantara, whose name means “the bridge” in Egyptian Arabic.
The 3.9-kilometre Suez Canal Bridge connects the African continent and Eurasia. It was constructed between 1995 and 2001.
5. Mozambique Island Bridge
Mozambique Island Bridge connects the Island of Mozambique to the mainland over the Indian Ocean. The island was formally the capital of colonial Portuguese East Africa.
Constructed and maintained by the National Road Administration, the bridge measures 3.39km and was completed in 1969.
6. Maputo-Katembe Bridge
The Maputo-Katembe Bridge, also known as the Maputo Bay Bridge, is a suspension bridge that spans Maputo Bay in Mozambique. It connects the capital city of Maputo on the northern bank to the district of Katembe on the southern bank.
The Maputo-Katembe Bridge measures approximately 3.04 kilometres in length. It consists of a main suspension bridge section with a central span of 680 meters and two approach viaducts.
The bridge’s design features two towers that reach a height of 141 meters and support the main cables from which the bridge deck is suspended.
7. Chora Super Major Bridge
Chora Super Major Bridge is a 3-kilometre-long railway bridge along the 120-kilometre Nairobi–Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway in Kenya.
The bridge is the second longest in the country stretching from Ongata Rongai Station to Merisho. The construction of the Box girder Prestressed concrete bridge was completed in 2019.
8. Athi River Super Bridge
This is the third bridge in our list from Kenya. Like the other two, it is a railway bridge and a part of the country’s standard gauge railway but from the 609 kilometres Mombasa–Nairobi section. This section is famously known as the Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway.
Completed back in 2018, the Athi River Super Bridge is also a box girder prestressed concrete bridge and it is 2.79 kilometres long. It is the eighth largest in Africa.
9. Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge
At number 9 is another bridge from Mozambique.
Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge is a road bridge crossing the Zambezi River. Named after the country’s former president Armando Guebuza, the bridge is 2.37 kilometres and 16 meters wide. It connects the provinces of Sofala and Zambezia.
The construction of the Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge took place between 2005 and 2009.
10. El-Warrak Bridge
This is a motorway/motorway bridge in Egypt.
With a total length of 2.26 kilometres, El-Warrak Bridge connects the East Bank of the Nile (Cairo-Kanater road) and the West Bank (Embaba-Kanater road) over the Nile and the North side of the Warrak island.
The construction of the girder-type bridge was completed by mid-2001. El-Warrak Bridge is the 10th largest in the African continent.