Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) said that the construction of JP Magufuli Bridge also known as the Kigongo-Busisi Bridge is almost halfway done.
The 3.2km bridge is set to provide an important link between Mwanza Region and neighbouring countries of Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
Tanroads anager for Mwanza, Mr Pascal Ambrose said yesterday that engineers were working day and night to ensure that the project meets completion target of February 2024.
“The construction is now at 47.3 percent and upon completion, the project will be a catalyst for reducing poverty and spur economic growth in the larger area,” he told journalists.
He said the bridge will replace the ferries as the main crossing of Lake Victoria at this vicinity.
“It is expected that the new bridge will accommodate significantly more traffic volumes along the route as well as improve safety of users at this lake crossing point.”
The project route consists of two major components namely bridge works and road works.
The Bridge works consist of construction of extra- dosed bridge (520m) with a total length of 3km (including approach section) crossing the Lake Victoria.
“The road construction consists of widening of 1.66 km of the existing road from 2 lanes to 4 lanes and construction of 1.16km on the Kigongo side and 0.5 pm the Busisi side. These approach roads tie in from the existing surfaced road to the new bridge. For construction purposes the Bridge and roads have been combined in one contract (Single Lot) covering Bridge and road segments,” he said.
He pointed out that the construction of the Bridge therefore will ensure that the Bridge is passable throughout the year with easy as well as improving ambient air quality, reduce traffic volume to the ferry through diverted traffic, reduce travel time and improve public transport.
The bridge financed by the government of Tanzania commenced in February 2020 and is expected to be completed in February 2024.
“The 180-tonne capacity bridge will allow 1,600 vehicles to pass at a time and will result in Mwanza becoming a major commercial hub in the Lake Zone,” he said.
He said that so far the contractor implementing the project has been paid Sh223 billion while the consultant engineer has also been paid Sh3 billion.
He also said that so far the project has provided a total of 776 jobs, of which 720 jobs equivalent to 92.8 percent have been provided to Tanzanians and 56 jobs equivalent to 7.2 percent given to foreigners.
On his part, Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC) Robert Gabriel said that the ongoing mega infrastructure projects implemented by the government in Mwanza are aiming to transform the City into the most efficient trading hub in the Great Lakes Region.
“The government is implementing mega infrastructure projects in Mwanza to attract business community from Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo DRC and Ethiopia,” he said.
“The good news that I want to tell you is that a big number of our mega projects are progressing well including this bridge.