You can now have breakfast in Maputo and diner in Durban. The bridge will open new business opportunities for both Mozambicans and South Africans, and most importantly for Katembe residents.

 

The bridge from Maputo to Katembe (Ponte de Maputo a Katembe) was inaugurated this Saturday November 10th. The bridge was constructed across the Maputo Bay in southern Mozambique. The bridge will connect the Mozambican capital Maputo on the northern bank with Katembe on the southern bank. Construction work began in 2014 and  completed in 2018. The construction work was carried out by the Chinese China Road and Bridge Corporation, a large part of the project was financed by loans from the Chinese Exim Bank.

Now that the bridge was completed, the bridge is ranked  the longest suspension bridge on the African continent. So far, the Matadi Bridge has held this record.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE BRIDGE

The two-lane suspension bridge will be 3041 metres long and cross the bay at a height of 60 metres. The northern viaduct (foreland bridge) will be 1097 meters long, approximately S-shaped and will be connected to the Praça 16 de Junho roundabout (connected to the EN1/EN2/EN4 highways) in the Maputo neigborhood of Malanga. The southern viaduct will be 1264 meters long and consist of precast elements. It is directly connected to the road to Ponta do Ouro. And from  Ponta de Ouro one can cross the boarder to Durban, South Africa.

Originally, pylons were also planned in the bay itself, but they were removed after a change of plan so as not to unnecessarily obstruct shipping traffic. A span of 680 metres is bridged without pillars between the two pylons located on the banks. This makes the bridge the largest of its kind in Africa. The main supporting cables are each connected to a solid anchor block via steel structures in the north and south. The extremely high loads of the structure require pile foundations with diameters of 1.50 m to 2.20 m. The piles reach 110 m deep into the claystone. The two pylons are 141 m high, at a height of about 40 meters there is a crossbar for the roadway. The individual prefabricated steel elements for the carriageway are 25.60 m wide and 12 m long. These were produced in China and installed from the ship lying on the quay wall.

Maputo-Katembe Bridge in Mozambique expected to be used by 4,000 vehicles per day

The project also includes the extension of the road from Katembe to the border town of Ponta do Ouro (129 kilometres) and between Boane and Bela Vista (63 kilometres), including bridges over the MaputoFuti and Umbelúzi rivers. After completion of the bridge, an extension of the EN1 trunk road over the bridge to Ponta do Ouro is possible, thus making it easy to drive from Maputo straight to Durban.

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