A consortium of construction companies formed under the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), CCCC South America Regional Company, and China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation have signed an agreement with the state of Bahia, Brazil to build the longest cable sea bridge in Brazil that will link the city of Salvador to the island of Itaparica. The 12.4 km-long cable-stayed sea bridge is considered key to the development of Bahia as vehicles will no longer have to go around the Bay of All Saints. It largely reduces the distance between the state capital Salvador and the south of the state by nearly an hour’s drive.
The consortium will have one year to prepare the project and another four years to execute it, offering over 7,000 jobs in the process. It will come at a total approximated cost of US$1.2 billion. The companies will thereafter control the operation of the bridge for 30 years. Bahia is expected to pay US$365m of the construction costs, and about US$120m in annual fees to the Chinese team, depending on the rate of toll income.
Bahia’s Secretary of Infrastructure Marcus Cavalcanti said the bridge “will be a challenge for engineering since it will use engineering solutions that have never been used before in Brazil. Without a doubt, it will be an example so that we can train our future workforce.” The bridge will improve transport efficiency and reconfigure the region around the Bay of All Saints and the state of Bahia, by connecting the island of Itaparica to the mainland. The bridge will play a key role in the economic development of the state and in creating wealth in northeast Brazil. It will also be the second-longest in Latin America after the Rio de Janeiro to Niterói crossing, as well as 4.6km of access roads in Salvador and a 21.4km expressway on Itaparica.