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Mozambique Maputo Bridge and Link Roads likely opens in June | Coastweek

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- aerial image taken on May 10, 2018 shows the Chinese-built Maputo Bridge and link roads. XINHUA PHOTO - WANG TENG

Mozambique Maputo Bridge and Link Roads likely opens in June

MAPUTO, (Xinhua) -- The southern African nation Mozambique is set to launch in June the Chinese-built Maputo Bridge and Link Roads, a project that will become the nation’s key international passageway linking southward to South Africa.

The following are some key facts about the landmark project:

• The project of Maputo Bridge and Link Roads is built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation and designed and implemented with Chinese standard.

• It serves as the arterial highway that will directly link capital city Maputo to the border of South Africa. It includes north link road, north approach bridge, main bridge, south approach bridge and south link road, with a total length of 187 km.

• The main span of the twin-tower suspension bridge extends 680 meters over the Maputo Bay of the Indian Ocean and links to the outlying district of Katembe.

• The elevation of the tower top is 141.2 meters and the navigation clearance is 60 meters.

• The bridge is bi-directional and has four lanes.

• The design speed is 80km/h, and the bridge is only for vehicles’ passing.

• Construction of the project, with a contract period of four years, started on June 6, 2014.

• The project is scheduled to be launched on June 25, Mozambique’s Independence Day.

The contract amount is 785.8 million U.S. dollars, with 95 percent of the funding provided by China through preferential and buyers’ loans.

The project has created over 20,000 jobs, both full-time and part-time, for the locals since the project commenced. Currently, the project still hires 3,788 local people compared to a Chinese staff team of 467.

• CRBC also trained over 5,000 locals for various job posts required for the project, including welding, steel bending, and machinery operation.

The bridge is expected to significantly ease passenger and cargo transport between Mozambique and South Africa, boosting trade and tourism development.

It will also drive the economic development of various sectors in the underdeveloped Katembe district, including land development, commercial services, logistics, and modern industries.

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UPDATES:

Mozambique anticipates landmark Chinese-built
suspension bridge set for launch in June

By Xinhua writers Zhu Shaobin and Nie Zuguo MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- A twin-tower suspension bridge with a main span of 680 meters hanging over Maputo Bay is decorating the skyline of southern African nation Mozambique’s capital city Maputo, becoming a new landmark project that will ease the city’s cross-sea traffic.

The project, costing 785.8 million U.S. dollars with 95 percent of the funding from China, is being built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and set for official launch on June 25, Mozambique’s Independence Day.

As the sun sets to one side of the bay and colors the bridge with a golden hue, 20-year-old Mozambican crew-driver worker Fernando was wrapping up his day’s work at the bridge, and sent a hello greeting “ni hao” in Chinese upon seeing us.

Due to his family’s financial burden, the youth said he’s working at the bridge to make some savings so that he can apply for a public university.

“I am working at the bridge to build my future,” he said.

“My biggest dream is to travel to London and study in Oxford University.

"But Mandarin is also important. There are many Chinese people working in Mozambique.

"So next year, I will also learn the Chinese language so that I will be able to better work around the Chinese,” he said while getting excited about the imminent launch of the bridge.

“It’s a wonderful and fantastic bridge! People now depend on the boats and ferry to get across the water to the Katembe district at the other side. The boat takes a long time and is dangerous,” he said.

Project manager at CRBC Cao Changwei has been in charge of the project since construction commenced in 2014.

He said the bridge will cut travel time between Maputo and the under-developed Katembe urban district to about ten minutes compared to up to three hours by ferry or driving around the bay by circumventing.

According to him, the whole bridge project also involves the construction of link roads totaling 187 km that will link southward to the border area with South Africa.

“It will greatly shorten the travel time between Mozambique and South Africa and become a major international passageway that will boosts Mozambique’s passenger and cargo transport, tourism as well as economic growth along the project,” Cao said.

“Many people now buy land in Katembe to make business because of this bridge.

"The economy in Katembe will develop very much,” Fernando said.

According to the CRBC, the local government is planning to develop the Katembe district through various ways, including land development, tourism, commercial services, logistics and modern industries.

Cao revealed that the project so far has created over 20,000 jobs, both full time and part time, for the locals.

Currently, the project hires 3,788 local people compared to a Chinese staff team of 467.

Meanwhile, CRBC also trained over 5,000 locals for various job posts required for the project, including welding, steel bending and machinery operation, Cao said.

“My new house is almost ready for use. I will get some new furniture once I get my salary this month,” said 40-year-old Morgado, who is a driver working at the project.

Growing up in a family with four siblings in Katembe, Morgado had a difficult childhood as his parents barely made ends meet by selling cassava starch. He also went through much toil-and-moil by working odd jobs.

“I worked in South Africa for five years but my life was still difficult.

But after I worked in CRBC, my life changed, he said, without hiding his joy that he and his wife Percilia now can even make savings in the family.

Meanwhile, Fermando told Xinhua that even though his father wanted him to study engineering, he has decided to pursue language studies.

“I will learn more English and Chinese to enhance my chances,” he beamed.

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Interview: China-Mozambique ties showing fruitful results

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- The pragmatic cooperation between China and the southern African nation Mozambique is yielding tangible results, which will help consolidate bilateral relations and showcase itself as an exemplary model for China-Africa cooperation, Chinese ambassador to Mozambique Su Jian has said.

In an interview with Xinhua earlier this week, Su said that bilateral cooperation has gained huge momentum in areas including infrastructure, agriculture and cultural exchanges in recent years.

For instance, the state-of-the-art twin-tower suspension bridge over Maputo Bay is being constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC). The bridge, with a main span of 680 meters and loan support from China, is due to open next month and greatly ease traffic from the capital city Maputo to the outlying urban district of Katembe on the other side of the sea.

“The bridge project also includes the construction of link roads of more than 180 km in length. It will southwardly directly connect to the border with South Africa, with the potential to boost development of trade and tourism,” Su said.

As for agriculture, Su said that a major rice farm project in south Mozambique’s Gaza province is contributing to the country’s food security.

“Currently, Mozambique has a rice shortfall of between 400,000 and 600,000 tonnes. If the project achieves its set targets, it could potentially help Mozambique tackle the shortfall,” Su said.

The Wanbao Mozambique rice farm, invested by the China-Africa Development Fund, is the largest of its kind undertaken by China in Africa. The project, a comprehensive business that incorporates plantation, storage, processing and sales, aims to develop 20,000 hectares of farmland, and will lead farmers in surrounding areas to grow crops over another 80,000 hectares.

“Agriculture requires long-term investment which means you get returns for your investment after long periods. However, the rice farm project undertaken by China demonstrates Chinese companies’ efforts in giving back to Africa. The project is also in response to the actual development needs of Mozambique,” Su said.

Data from the Chinese Embassy in Mozambique shows that nearly 100 Chinese companies have accumulatively invested nearly seven billion U.S. dollars in Mozambique as of May 2017, in areas including energy and resources development, agriculture, fishery, construction, telecommunications, and process manufacturing.

According to Su, China has become Mozambique’s largest foreign investor and one of its biggest infrastructure builders since the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit was held in Johannesburg in December 2015.

Regarding cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the ambassador said that more Mozambicans are learning to speak the Chinese language through the Confucius Institute, an organization promoting the Chinese language and culture. Meanwhile, China is set to begin construction of a cultural center in the campus of Eduardo Mondlane University, which located in the capital of Maputo, dedicated to showcasing the cultural ties between the two countries.

The ambassador made the remarks as China’s top legislator Li Zhanshu is paying an official friendly visit to Ethiopia, Mozambique and Namibia from May 9 to 18.

Su said the visit by Li is set to elevate bilateral pragmatic cooperation in Africa.

Mozambique Maputo Bridge and Link Roads likely opens in June | Coastweek

MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) -- aerial image taken on May 10, 2018 shows the Chinese-built Maputo Bridge and link roads. XINHUA PHOTO - WANG TENG

             

 

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