The Trans-Gambia Bridge, also known as the Senegambia Bridge, is a bridge that connects the northern and southern areas of The Gambia to the isolated Casamance province and the rest of Senegal.
Construction of the bridge began in 2015 and was opened to light vehicles in early 2021. Funding for the project was primarily provided by the African Development Bank which gave US$65 million towards the project.
At 1.9 kilometers in length, it is one of West Africa’s longest bridges and includes a 100-meter-wide central span to facilitate continued use of the river by boats.
Construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved funding of US$110 million for the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge and Cross Border Improvement Project.
The financing package, which is being extended through the African Development Fund (ADF), the African Development Bank Group’s concessionary lending window, comprises an outright grant of US$100 million and ADF concessionary resources of US$ 5 million.
Phase I will consist of the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge over the Gambia River and Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) while Phase II comprises of rehabilitation of 137 km of Senoba-Ziguinchor road in Senegal and pavement strengthening of 24 km of Farafenni –Senoba road in The Gambia. The project will be completed in five years, from 2012 to 2017.
Gambia to inaugurate Trans-Gambia Bridge in January 2019
The Gambia is set to inaugurate Trans-Gambia Bridge in January 2019. This is according to Gambia President Adama Barrow being informed by the contractors at the Trans-Gambia Bridge construction site at the Yelli Tenda-Bamba Tenda crossing point that the bridge will be ready next year.
“The foundation works, pile caps, and piers are 100% complete. The piers, initially expected in July 2018, are currently 93% complete, while the deck, expected in November 2018, is now 67% complete,” Bojang project supervisor explained to the President, who was led on the inspection work by the Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure, Bai Lamin Jobe.
The 1.8 km long bridge is over five stories high. It is designed to accommodate the passage of most vessels, while longer-mast boats can easily fold their masts to pass through the bridge. The engineers described it as one of the biggest in the sub-region, 57% of workers are Gambians, 18% are expatriates, and 20%Ecowas citizens.
Upon completion, the bridge is expected to be an important trade link between Gambia, Senegal, and the sub-region, while opening up the region to the Cairo-Lagos trade corridor. However, the works are currently behind schedule due to what contractors say, is caused by a twenty-meter-thick mud on the river banks.
Meanwhile, the President was assured that over-water works will be complete by November 2018 while access roads that will link the bridge to the tar roads on either side, will take four months from November.
The Minister of Environment Lamin Dibba, was also at hand to learn how the impact of the construction of the bridge will affect the environment and be managed.
“Several salvation experts were brought here to give technical advice. All possible scenarios were rehearsed to come up with the best management system possible,” the President was assured by the Minister.
Reported in Feb 2019
Senegal inaugurates the new Senegambia bridge
Senegalese President Macky Sall and Gambian President Adama Barrow have inaugurated the new Senegambia Bridge after years of completion.
“We can be proud to have turned this dream of several generations into a reality. This bridge which has been in discussion since the 1970s, had been affected as the relationship between Dakar and Banjul evolved,” said President Sall.
Located in Gambian territory, crossing the Gambia River, about ten kilometers from the Farafenni border crossing point, the bridge, is an elegant light concrete structure more than a kilometer long.
The bridge, which is aimed at boosting trade in West Africa, is part of the Trans-Gambia Road Corridor, a vital economic and strategic link connecting the north and south banks of the Gambia River as well as The Gambia, Senegal and other countries in the sub-region.
“I am very happy about this new development, now you can cross the bridge and be back just within a day. It used to take truck drivers and other heavy commercial drivers 10 to 20 days to wait for their turn on the ferry which is a waste of time, money, and spoilage of goods. This will be a thing of the past now,” said President Adama Barrow.
Construction began in 2015, under Yahya Jammeh. It will enable those who want to travel from the north of Senegal to its southern region of Casamance, a tourist and agricultural region whose development has been hampered by its geographic isolation from the rest of the country – to avoid having to take a detour of some 400km.
The opening of the bridge illustrates the dramatic warming of relations between the two countries, long marked by disputes over transportation, fishing, and borders, despite the fact that their inhabitants share common languages, ethnic origins, and many professional, family, and commercial ties.
This rapprochement took place when Mr. Barrow came to power in January 2017, as Senegal was at the forefront of diplomatic and, above all, military pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to force Yahya Jammeh to concede defeat in the December 2016 presidential election.
Reported in Oct 2020
Trans-Gambia Corridor Project phase 2 construction launched
The Gambia, led by President Adama Barrow has laid the foundation stone for the second phase of construction of the Trans-Gambia Corridor Project.
The work to be undertaken in this Phase includes pavement strengthening works for the 24 kilometers of the Trans-Gambia Highway. It consists of both pavement overlay and rehabilitation works from the border in the South, at Misera, in the Lower River Region to Kerr Ali, in the North Bank Region.
The objective of the project is to facilitate overland traffic flow between the Northern and Southern parts of The Gambia and Senegal and, by extension, to enhance free movement within the West African region as a whole.
This corridor is a component of the Dakar-Gambia-Bissau-Conakry-Trans-West African Highway, which features the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) program of events. It is also part of the Trans-African Highway, Cairo-Dakar-Lagos.
Contracts for this project
The contracts for this phase of the project were signed in mid-September this year with Arezki Group, a company specializing in civil engineering road works, airports, telecommunications, etc. that constructed the Sene-Gambia Bridge and Tolling Facilities, at a contract fee of close to US$ 11.5M for a contract period of one and a half years. AIC Progetti and TSC Engineering and Construction have been engaged as consultants and will also supervise the works at a contract sum of over US$ 1M.
The project is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) or “Banque Africaine de Développement” which is a multilateral development finance institution that contributes to poverty reduction and economic and social development in the least developed African countries by providing concessional funding for projects and programs, as well as technical assistance for studies and capacity-building activities. The European Union (EU) is also providing a subsidy for the project through an arrangement with the AfDB.