CONSTRUCTION of the multi-million dollar Kazungula Bridge across the Zambezi River has started with the laying of a temporary bridge.
The US$259.3 million bridge is being undertaken by Zambia and Botswana with financial assistance from Japan International Co-operation Agencyand the African Development Bank.
In an interview, Kazungula District Commissioner Pascalina Musokowane said the project is on course and that construction work will take four years.
“The contractor [Deawoo Engineering and Construction of South Korea] is already on site and has so far employed 300 workers from both Zambia and Botswana.
“There is another company on board supplying fuel to the contractor which has also employed local people,” she said.
Ms Musokotwane said the bridge will facilitate effective trade with Botswana and other Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries through reduced transit time for freight and passengers.
She said the project, which has been in the making for over a decade, will transform the economy of not only Kazungula district but the country, too.
She said the pontoons currently being used on the Zambezi River are inadequate to meet the increased traffic demand.
“The project will facilitate quick movement of products within the region, create jobs and increase opportunities for intra- and regional trade activities,” she said.
Ms Musokotwane said the 923 metres long railway and road-bridge will also have two `one-stop border posts’ on either side of the bridge in Zambia and Botswana.
She said the contractor is working on construction of access and approach roads to the bridge and the one-stop border facility.
“The tender for the construction of the one stop border facility to house the Immigration department and Zambia Revenue Authority offices has been awarded. The contractor has started mobilisation,” she said.
She said there is increased activity in the area, which has resulted in job creation.
She cited construction of the Kazungula district hospital, which is nearing completion, a police station, Natsave bank, a post office, administrative office for civil servants and housing units as some of the on-going infrastructure projects in the district.
Source: Kazungula Bridge construction starts (11/08/15)