Tanroads, SMCC strike Sh25bn bridge deal

Wednesday January 23 2019

The Tanzania National Roads Agency chief

The Tanzania National Roads Agency chief executive officer, Mr Patrick Mfugale, (left), and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company Limited general manager, Mr Ichiro Aoki, exchange documents after signing a contract to rebuild the Gerezani Bridge in Dar es Salaam yesterday. PHOTO I ANTHONY SIAME 

By Alfred Zacharia @azacharia3 azacharia@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. A total of Sh25.28 billion has been set aside for the construction of a new four-lane bridge at Gerezani area along Bandari Road, the government said yesterday.

This was revealed by the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) chief executive office, Mr Patrick Mfugale, during an event to sign an agreement of the project’s implementation with Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company (SMCC).

“The contractor will spend at least Sh22.42 billion for the construction while Sh2.86 billion will go to a consultancy company namely Ingerosec Corporation of Japan,” he said.

The money, according to him, is a grant from the government of Japan through its Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), which aims at replacing the existing two-lane bridge with a view on reducing traffic chaos in Dar es Salaam. “The 40-metre long and 30-metre wide bridge will allow expansion of the highway to six lanes to increase traffic volume, which will also help boost economic activities,” he noted.

The new bridge has a well-considered design, which can accommodate a new service route of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Standard Gauge Railway passing under it.

However, the funds are not enough to complete the construction of the bridge, according to him.

“Some money will have to be sourced from the third phase of BRT to finish where SMCC ends,” he noted, without mentioning the amount needed for completing the project.

As things stand, he said that the project will be completed in two years’ time. “The project will be largely implemented by Japanese and Tanzanian companies. This is due to the fact that when the government of Japan provides grant, its contractors must also participate in the construction,” he noted.

Jica told The Citizen after the signing ceremony that more than 100 locals will be employed during the two-year construction period.

So far, Jica and SMCC are not clear on when the project is going to kick off, but reports have it that it may begin before the end of March, this year.

For his part, the minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Mr Isack Kamwelwe, was confident that the project would be completed on time.

“From what I saw and witnessed, their performance in various projects including that of Mfugale Flyover, I totally trust Tanroads and SMCC,” he noted.

He vowed to continue monitoring the progress of the project and initiate new ones, making Dar es Salaam the most attractive city for living and business.