Zambia Bypasses Pre-Feasibility Study Stage for US$75.5 Million New Luangwa Bridge Construction Project

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Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development Charles Milupi speaking at the commissioning of the 750+12MW Kafue Gorge Lower Hydro Power Station (KGL) in Chikankata District in the Southern Province.

Plans to construct the new US$75.5 million Luangwa Bridge on the Great East Road have bypassed the pre-feasibility study stage. The decision was made by the Cabinet last year, in February, with the aim of increasing traffic capacity in the Nacala Corridor, facilitating the distribution of goods and passengers, and promoting economic growth and industrialization.

The current Luangwa Bridge has been in use for over 50 years since its construction in 1968, limiting the maximum weight of vehicles to 55 tonnes and the maximum speed to 30 km per hour. Currently, only one heavy goods vehicle is allowed to pass at any given time. The new bridge is expected to increase the capacity for both goods and passenger traffic, leading to significant economic benefits.

The total cost of the project is estimated at US$75.5 million, with the Zambian government contributing approximately US$7.5 million as counterpart funding. The rest of the funding, amounting to US$67.95 million, will be provided by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on behalf of the Government of Japan.

The pre-feasibility study for the project has already been completed, and the Zambian government is now waiting for approval of the grant from the Japanese government. Once approved, the construction of the new Luangwa Bridge is expected to commence soon.

The construction of the new Luangwa Bridge is expected to provide a significant boost to the country’s infrastructure, enhancing its connectivity with neighboring countries and promoting economic growth and development.