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Kazungula Bridge final inspection done, ready for use

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The 923 metres long Kazungula Bridge jointly constructed by Botswana and Zambia is finally ready to use. Zambia’s Infrastructure minister Vincent Mwale announced this after the final inspection on Saturday 17 October 2020.

“My counterpart from Botswana and I this morning did a final inspection of Kazungula bridge which is at 100% complete and one-stop border facilities at 99.97% complete in Botswana and at 99.99% complete in Zambia,” Mr Mwale said.

Mwale also said that he was pleased that the US$259 million project which started back in 2014 had been completed without any fatalities.

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“We thank the contractor and the consultants involved in the project for a job well done, no deaths were recorded during construction – a great record. Our inspection is a step in the process of having the iconic bridge commissioned by our two Heads of States.”

The completion of the Kazungula Bridge will not only boost bilateral trade but will also deepen regional co-operation in the SADC region.

The bridge is sited across the Zambezi River at Kazungula Crossing, where Botswana and Zambia share a 750m border. It also goes over the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe rivers where Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet.

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Commenting on completion of the project, Botswana’s Vice-President Slumber Tsogwane added, “The multi-million-dollar project has been hailed as the Southern African Development Community economic integration success stories.”

Citing assessments by Zambia’s Road Development Agency, VP Tsogwane said load tests were conducted on Kazungula Bridge.

“The bridge is expected to reduce transit time for freight and passengers, boost the regional economy and even increase global competitiveness of goods from Botswana and Zambia due to reduced time-based trade and transport costs,” said the VP.

Described as an impressive structural masterpiece by Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications Thulagano Segokgo, phase one of the project – comprising the bridge proper and approach ramps – is complete. Phase two, being a one-stop border post in Botswana, is more than 98% complete and expectations are that all necessary work will be finished by the end of October.

Phase three, which is the one-stop border post in Zambia is 99.97% complete.

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