MAPURO– The Mozambican government is planning to build a new bridge over the Save River, which conventionally marks the boundary between southern and central Mozambique.

Minister of Public Works Joao Machatine says the new bridge should be completed by the end of 2021. The Mozambican and Chinese governments will invest the equivalent of 98.3 million US dollars in building the bridge, and the contractor will be the China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC).

The same company built the longest suspension bridge in Africa over the bay of Maputo, linking the centre of the Mozambican capital to the outlying district of Katembe.

The bridge over the Save will form part of the country’s main North-South highway, Route EN1. The existing bridge dates from 1971 and has never undergone any major rehabilitation. It is now regarded as obsolescent, and its poor condition limits the amount of cargo it can carry at any one time to 35 tonnes.

While work on the new bridge is under way, traffic will be diverted to a metal bridge which will be erected between the two banks of the river, and will be able to carry up to 50 tonnes of cargo.

Machatine said in an interview with a local television station that the diversion to the metal bridge will begin as from November, allowing work on the new bridge to take place. Currently, geophysical studies of the site of the new bridge are under way.

Machatine, who visited the site on Friday, said he was satisfied at the pace of work. The contractor has ordered the cables and, according to the information given to us, they will arrive in November,” he added.

He promised that the new bridge will be more robust than the existing one, and will improve the movement of traffic along EN1.