The deputy director in the Roads Department, Ms. Kgakgamatso Kalasi says the government will start construction of a P1 billion bridge across Okavango River in Mohembo. The bridge will connect villages on the east of the river to the rest of the country. Located in North West Botswana, the bridge will straddle Mohembo East (Kauxwi) Ferry Landing Site and Mohembo West (Shakawe) Ferry landing Site.
Ms. Kalasi said the bridge’s design and engineering was unfortunately postponed due to the recession. She said however, that the government has put the project back on the agenda, as the economic growth momentum continues to gather pace. She said upon completion, the iconic 1.2 km Cable Stayed and Incrementally Launched Bridge will ultimately become the country’s landmark.
Ms. Kalasi said they have lined up methods to ensure that the contractor will not lose a lot of time acquiring certain rights such as burrow pits.
“This time, the department has not only identified and secured burrow pits licenses, but also carried out the mandatory Environmental Impact Assessment and contractors will just apply for the mining rights. A project of this magnitude requires highly dedicated experience and a capable civil engineering company.”
Following the adoption of the Citizen Economic Empowerment policy, citizen contractors are expected to play a role in the construction.
A press release posted on Facebook on January 15 by the Ministry of Transport and Communications said the ministry was today to officially sign a Contract Agreement on the construction of the Okavango River Bridge in Mohembo. The press release states that the contract was awarded to Italian constructors; ITINERA and CIMOLAI in a venture that will see the Joint Venture receive P1 billion from the Botswana government.
The project, expected to be completed in July 2019, will be supervised by CPP Botswana (Pty) Ltd consultant. The release also states that civil works to be carried out will include the construction of a 1, 161 metre-long road bridge. Pedestrian walkways and lighting over the bridge will also be made available.
The press release states that the bridge is of socio-economic importance to the Delta and Chobe areas, as well as to the rest of the country. It will among other benefits, reduce crossing time, make the expansion of a future road network feasible, integrate tourist attraction sites and activities such as Lake Ngami, Tsodilo, Aha Hills, among others.
Construction of the Mohembo River Bridge will also address the challenges imposed by the existing pontoon service, which is currently unreliable due to unfavourable weather conditions and restricted working hours.
Reference: BOPA, BW Government
Video courtesy of: http://www.grassl-ing.de/en/construction-visualisation/details/p/show/okavango-river-bridge-in-mohembo-village/#