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Africa’s Longest Suspension Bridge Nears Completion

AFRICA’s longest suspension bridge - which spans the Maputo bay in Mozambique - is nearing completion.

The 3 kilometre (1.9 mile) bridge includes a main span of 680 metres (2,231 feet) and creates an important link between Mozambique’s capital city and neighbouring South Africa.

Above: The new bridge is an important link within Mozambique and beyond (image courtesy of Xinhua).

Financed by a loan from the Exports Imports Bank of China, the USD $725 million project is being built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation. The level of Chinese investment in the country now totals USD $2.28 billion.

Above: With its 680 metre (2,231 feet) long main span, the Maputo Catembe bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Africa (image courtesy of Xinhua).

Travelling across Maputo Bay can takes 40 minutes by ferry, so it is hoped this new link will create new opportunities for economic development.

The bridge’s two support towers stand 137 metres (449 feet) tall with the 7,000 tonne road deck suspended 60 metres (197 feet) above the water, allowing ships to pass.

Above: The bridge deck is suspended 60 metres (197 feet) above the water, allowing ships to pass (image courtesy of Xinhua).

The Maputo Catembe Bridge is one of many strategic projects backed by China on the African continent.

Some of the projects include a 1,400 kilometre railway in Nigeria worth USD $11 billion, a USD $35 billion investment in Egypt’s "New Cairo" and the USD $1.3 billion "Great Mosque of Algiers", which is set to be the largest in Africa.

Above: China is financing and building a number of large infrastructure and cultural projects across Africa, such as the Great Mosque of Algiers (image courtesy of KSP Architekten).

Initially slated to open in December 2017, the bridge will officially open to traffic next month.


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