Home Forums Ongoing Developments in Africa THE KIGONGO-BUSISI BRIDGE

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    Basira Hakeem

      Tanzania is building a bridge known as the Kigongo-Busisi Bridge, commonly known as the Mwanza Gulf Bridge. It will connect the towns of Kigongo in the Mwanza Region and Busisi in the Geita Region, across the Gulf of Mwanza for 3.2 kilometers (2.0 mi) when it is finished as planned in 2024, reducing the distance traveled from 35 minutes by ferry to 4 minutes by car.



      It is the sixth-longest bridge on the African continent and the longest in East Africa. A 35 km (22 mi) tarmacked road will be built as part of this road infrastructure project to connect the eastern end of the bridge to the city of Mwanza.



      Between Kigongo and Busisi, there was no road connection prior to the building of this bridge. The only way to go between the two sides was by ferry. Although the ferry travels the distance in 35 minutes, pre-boarding, boarding, transit, and disembarking can take up to three hours. Every 24 hours, 1,600 cars use the ferry to travel across the Gulf of Mwanza. According to the Tanzania National Roads Administration, when the bridge is finished, that figure will rise to 10,200 every 24 hours.



      The design and construction of this transportation infrastructure project were contracted out to a group of two Chinese state-owned engineering and construction firms in 2019. China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway 15th Bureau (CR15B) are the companies contracted for the construction.



      In 2019 when the construction of the project began, the contract price was reported as TS699 billion. The Tanzanian government fully finances it and the completion plan was initially for 2023. However, the project has a new completion date of 2024 after it was reported in July 2021 the work progress was 27% and the contract price had increased to $308.88 million.



      The project created a total of 776 jobs of which 720 positions were filled by Tanzanians and 56 jobs were taken up by non-Tanzanians. In July 2022, the progress of the construction work was estimated at 47.3%.



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