7 January 2014

Tanzania: Passers-By Bother Bridge Builders

CONSTRUCTION of the 680- metre Kigamboni Bridge has been extended to July 2015 following a number of unforeseen challenges that afflict the project.

Some challenges are technical but the project is also bothered by frequent interruption from passers-by.

The Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Ministry of Works, Eng. Mussa Iyombe, said in Dar es Salaam that construction would have been completed in January, 2015 but now it has been pushed back.

The government has agreed to a request by the construction company. "The drilling has to go 84 metres deep instead of the 64 metres as planned due to a cavity found on the seabed," said the PS while briefing reporters on his tour to inspect the construction of the bridge.

The project, which is financed by the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), is carried out by the China Major Bridge Engineering Company and China Railway Jiangchang Engineering (Tanzania) Limited as well as Arab Consulting Engineers.

The Project Manager from NSSF, Eng. Karim Mattaka, said that another challenge is theft of building materials by some unfaithful labourers, but he said security has been beefed up to control the problem. "We have received some cases of theft of building materials by some unfaithful workers but we have controlled the problem.

The cable-stayed bridge with six lanes will help Kigamboni residents to access social services and market opportunities. The project's significance is to connect Kigamboni satellite city to the rest of the country. The satellite city is envisaged to accommodate 450,000 residents compared to the current 45,000.

The cable stayed bridge (680 metres long and 27.5 metres wide) and its approach roads (2.5 kilometres) are constructed at bitumen standard.

The bridge has six lanes and two sidewalks. The project will facilitate development by easing public transport, creating jobs and attracting more investments and tourists in the country.

The multi-billion shilling project's idea was mooted in 1977, but it couldn't materialise at the time until when NSSF decided to fund it. It is estimated to cost $33 million (Sh214.6 billion) and was expected to be completed in 36 months starting from February 1, 2012.

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