Construction works on the Kigamboni bridge project, the longest cable-stayed bridge in East Africa which will link Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam central business district to Kigamboni in the southern coastal areas, are expected to be completed by October, 2015.
The works include construction of two reinforced concrete pylons of a cable-stayed bridge with centre and total lengths of 250 m and 680 m, two sidewalks, retaining structures, and bitumen standard approach road of 2.5 km totaling an investment of TSZ 214 billion funded by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Tanzanian Government.
The project which is under construction by China Railway Construction Engineering Group (CRCEG) and China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Group (CRMBEG) was planned to be ready in January, 2015, but it is now at final stages and would be joined in October this year after delays due to technical issues as undersea cavities below one of the pillars and shortage of sand in the area, explained the project’s business manager, Mr. Zhang Bangxu, in an interview with Xinhua news agency.
According to the project’s production manager, Mr. Li Haihong, the Kigamboni bridge is set to be the number one cable-stayed bridge in East Africa due to the new technologies that have been used in cables and concrete for its construction.
The bridge’s construction is meant to boost the domestic tourism sector in Tanzania since Kigamboni area in Dar Es Salaam’s south beach is rich in holiday beach spaces but they were not completely chosen by the public due to the Kurasini Creek that separates it from the rest of the city and lack of reliable ferry services, explained NSSF’s Eng. Karim Mattaka in an interview with a local internet media.
In addition, it will promote the establishment of a new city in Kigamboni which has a capacity to accommodate 1.2 million residents and that is expected to be the next tourist hub seeking to make longer the stay of international tourists in Dar es Salaam that are currently using the city only as a gateway to other tourism destinations in Central Africa.
According to Tanzanian Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA), there are currently two vessels with capacities to transport a total of 1,000 passengers and 78 vehicles per trip, totalling a carriage of 60,000 passengers daily from Dar to Kigamboni.
After the opening of the new bridge, the PPRA is planning to acquire a new vessel with a capacity to transport 1,000 passengers and 30 vehicles to meet the rapid population growth and economic activities expected in this area.