Africa’s longest suspension bridge is complete making it possible to have breakfast in Durban, lunch in Mbabane and dinner in Maputo

Construction of the US $700 million Bridge began in 2014.

  • Known as the Maputo-Catembe Bridge, the 3km-long bridge located at Mozambique, aims to connect Maputo with Catembe on the southern part of Maputo Bay.
  • The suspension bridge has cut down the driving time to four hours making it possible to have breakfast in Durban, lunch in Mbabane and dinner in Maputo.

Known as the Maputo-Catembe Bridge, the 3km-long bridge located at Mozambique, aims to connect Maputo with Catembe on the southern part of Maputo Bay cutting down the driving time to four hours from the current more than ten hours taken to drive round the bay.

With a width of 680m, the suspension bridge will also be able to carry high volumes of traffic comfortably in both directions, effectively replacing the current ferry system and various fragmented road systems that transport goods and tourists from South Africa and Swaziland into Mozambique.

Construction of the US $700 million Bridge began in 2014 in a joint construction and management project between the Mozambique and Chinese governments under the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and was set for completion in 2017 but was postponed due to insufficient construction materials.

“ After verifying that it was not possible to complete the work in 2017, we defined the first half of this year as a new deadline to finish the construction of the bridge and so far the work executed accounts up to 97% of the project,” said Silva Magaia, the president of  Empresa de Desenvolvimento de Maputo Sul.

Hundreds of thousands of people travel between  Mozambique and South Africa through border gates every month, often taking up to 12 hours to navigate the 90 kilometres to Maputo on often hazardous and unmaintained roads. The bridge will change everything about the journey.

“This is truly one of the tangible legacy projects of the East3Route,” said Ndabo Khoza, chief executive of KwaZulu-Natal Tourism. “It will make it possible for one to have breakfast in Durban, lunch in Mbabane (Swaziland) and dinner in Maputo.”

Before the bridge was completed, the only direct access to Maputo by vehicle from South Africa was via the border post of Kosi Bay in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The bridge will offer one direct route, on suitable roads, linking Kosi Bay and Swaziland to Maputo and the rest of Mozambique.

Maputo-Catembe Bridge will also pave way for development at the Catembe area, particularly in commercial and housing sectors, overcoming the problem of a lack of space for more buildings in the capital city.

Apart from being Africa’s longest suspension bridge, the Maputo-Catembe will also be ranked among the 60 largest suspended bridges in the world.

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