Engineering Genius: Abidjan Third Bridge.
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It took 14 years but work has begun at Ivory Coast's Ebrie Lagoon begins after 14 years
This bridge project in the Ivory Coast's biggest city has taken some time to get off the ground. It was originally planned for construction in 1999 under a major development programme called "The 12 tasks of the African Elephant".
Funding had been agreed for it, but the worsening political situation in the country following the 2000 presidential election and the ensuing civil war meant that it remained on hold until August last year, when a funding deal was eventually agreed between a group of development finance bodies including the African Development Bank, Ecowas Bank for Investment and Development, the Dutch Development Bank and the West African Development Bank.
The $385m (EUR: 292m) project has also received grants from the Ivorian Government and loans from a commercial bank, Bank Marocaine pour le Commerce Exteriur.
The 1.9km-long bridge is known as Abidjan's Third Bridge. It will connect the towns of Riviera and Marcory over the Ebrie lagoon in the capital and will have two three-lane carriageways as part of a 6.4km highway.
According to the African Development Bank it will "make a significant contribution to the company's economic recovery" by improving local infrastructure and relieving heavy traffic congestion in the city.
It is also needed as one of the city's two existing bridges across the lagoon, Houphouet-Boigny Bridge, needs to be closed to undergo major structural repairs.
The bridge is being built under public-private partnership by a consortium led by French construction group Bouyges. The firm and its partners have set up a company in the Ivory Coast, Socoprim, which has a 30-year concession under a Build, Operate, Transfer model.
Construction work started on the project in September 2012 and the project is expected to complete by October 2014.
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