Contractors at the Trans-Gambia Bridge construction site at Yelli Tenda – Bamba Tenda crossing point has informed the President that the bridge will be ready for inauguration in January 2019.
After a night stop at Mansakonko, the President started day eight of the ongoing nationwide tour with a visit to the bridge construction site, where he and his delegation joined a boat for a conducted tour of the progress of work.
Mr Lamin Bojang, project supervisor, and his team of engineers and consultants were at hand to explain the details:
“The foundation works, pile caps and piers are 100 per cent complete. The piers, initially expected in July 2018 are currently 93 per cent complete, while the deck, expected in November 2018, is now 67 per cent complete,” Mr. Bojang explained to the President, who was led on the inspection work by Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure, Bai Lamin Jobe.
The 1.8kilometer bridge is over 5 storeys high. It is designed to accommodate passage of most vessels, while longer-mast boats can easily fold their masts to pass through the bridge. The engineers described it as one of the biggest in the sub region. 57 percent of workers there are Gambians, 18 per cent expatriates, and 25 per cent are other Ecowas citizens.
Once complete, it is expected to be an important trade link between Gambia, Senegal and the sub-region, while opening up the region to the Cairo-Lagos trade corridor. However, the works are currently behind schedule due to what contractors say, is caused by a 20meter thick mud on the river banks.
Meanwhile, the President was assured that over-water works will be completed by November 2018 while access roads that will link it to the tar roads on either side will take four months from November.
The Minister of Environment, Lamin Dibba, was also at hand to learn how the environment impact will be managed. “Several salvation experts were brought here to give technical advice… all possible scenarios were rehearsed to come up with the best management system possible,” the President was assured.