Mpwapwa — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has laid a foundation stone for the construction of the Gulwe Bridge in Mpwapwa district in Dodoma region which will cost 3.3bn/-.
The bridge that measures half a kilometre will go hand in hand with the construction of nine other smaller bridges as a measure of rescuing the Gulwe and Godegode railways which are often swept by floods. President Kikwete said that the building of the bridge is one of the government's efforts of doing away with the persistent problem in the area that is brought by rain.
"This bridge will have the capacity of upholding 150 tonnes and will be built at the level of a highway," he said. President Kikwete also wanted experts to look into the possibility of building dams in order to reduce the destruction that occurs every so often.
On his part the Minister for Works Dr John Magufuli said the bridge will be 170 metres and will be constructed on an area covering half a kilometre.
He said that the total cost for the construction will be 3.3 billion, saying that so far the World Bank has already granted 2.7 billion/-. The Tanroads Managing Director Engineer Patrick Mfugale said the road will have a life span of 100 years and the bridge will be supported by four pillars.
He said the four pillars will be held in place by 48 supporting structures will help to stop soil erosion around the bridge. Eng Mfugale said that the construction is expected to be completed by 2015, adding that so far the contractor has been paid 380 million/-, the surveyor has bagged 208 million while resident who were evicted have been paid 500 million/- as compensation.
Mpwapwa Member of Parliament, Gregory Teu said the old bridge was constantly being swept away by floods and they relied on help by the Tanzania People's Defence Force (TPDF).
He said that apart from constructing waterways beside the bridge, measures should be taken to revive the Kimagai Dam which was constructed by colonials but neglected after they left, which causes constant damage at the Gulwe and Godegode areas during floods.
The Kibakwe Member of Parliament who is also the Deputy Minister of Land, Housing and Human Settlement, George Simbachawene said that the Gulwe problem is a national problem because every year the railway line is swept away.