Construction of the US$190 million (P1.7 billion) Kazungula Bridge will commence in July, a joint statement by signed by the Botswana Minister of Transport and Communications, Nonofo Molefhi and his Zambian counterpart Yamfwa Mukanga states.
The two ministers noted that a lot of progress has been made in the procurement process for the contracts. “Out of the 26 companies that expressed interest to participate in the project, three have been shortlisted to bid for the project. It is expected that construction of the Kazungula Bridge will commence on July 12, 2014,” reads the statement. The evaluation of the technical proposals was completed last December.
The civil works for the proposed Kazungula Bridge and the railway line will comprise the construction of a 23 metres long by 18.5 metres wide rail/road bridge.
It will also include two one-stop border facilities, access roads and ramps across the Zambezi River. Speaking at the briefing, Mr Mukanga said the bridge is of strategic importance to the economic integration of the two countries and southern Africa.
He said the bridge will provide the much-needed connectivity and also link regional ports which handle exports and imports through Botswana and Zambia.
“The construction of Kazungula Bridge will address the challenges imposed by the existing ferry service, which is a major bottleneck to trade and smooth flow of people, goods and services,” he said.