A Chinese firm has completed it’s construction of a new bridge in Tanzania. The bridge is a cable-stayed bridge which has been described as East Africa’s longest and it opened in Tanzania’s main city Dar es Salaam.
It has been touted that the new bridge will ease the over-crowding on ferries that normally occurs when travelling in the city. Prior to the completion of the bridge, commuters had the singular option of crossing over the creek to the Kigamboni suburbs in badly maintained ferries and they are often held up for hours because of breakdowns. Motorists also had to take their cars on to the ferries, and some fell into the sea as the vessels pulled out of the port as they are not always properly loaded.
The 680m (2,230ft) bridge links the city center with Southern neighborhoods across the Indian Ocean. Tanzania’s President, John Magufuli has hailed it as a liberation for the four million residents that make up the city.
The Chinese firm that worked on it and placed the cost at $140 million says that it is East Africa’s longest cable-stayed bridge. It will also go in the records as being Tanzania’s first toll road. The prices for the different vehicles are not yet fixed but it has been ascertained that vehicles and motorcycles will have to pay, while pedestrians and bicycle will have free passage.
The bridge links to an area earmarked in 2010 for an ambitious plan to build a satellite city, known as the Kigamboni New City development. The government also holds out hopes that it will boost tourism by making it easier for people to go to beaches on the other side of the city.
The proud President Magufuli who attended a ceremony to open the bridge described the seven-lane cable-stayed bridge as the only one of its kind in central and East Africa, enthusing; “It has never been built before. Even if you go to Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo [and] Kenya, there is no bridge like this”. He opined that it should be named the Nyerere Bridge after Tanzania’s first President Julius Nyerere, saying the idea was first mooted by him.