The Maputo-Katembe Bridge, which connects the two banks of the bay of Mozambique’s capital, was inaugurated on Saturday after more than four years of construction and a cost over US$750 million, the Mozambican media reported.

The construction of the bridge was awarded to the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CBRC) and was financed with loans from the China Exports and Import Bank.

At the ceremony, which was attended by China’s ambassador to Mozambique, Su Jian, President Filipe Nyusi unveiled a plaque and cut the symbolic ribbon to “open” the bridge linking Maputo to Katembe, Africa’s longest suspension bridge, and the most expensive project in the country since independence in 1975.

The bridge has a 700-metre suspended platform and two access ramps of over 1 kilometre each and crosses the bay at a height of 60 metres, enough for freight ships to pass through the port of Maputo.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, said that the Maputo South Development Company, the concessionaire of the project, will present solutions for the profitability of the infrastructure, “after which the government will decide which model of debt repayment to adopt.”

The concessionaire has already publicly stated that the revenue from the payment of the two tolls, one on the bridge on the Katembe side and another in Bela Vista in the district of Matutuíne, will not be enough to cover the costs of maintaining the project, estimated at US$1.2 million per year.

Tolls cost between 160 meticais (US$2.6) for class 1 vehicles and 1,200 meticais for class 4, with a discount of 75% for certain users, such as frequent, semi-collective transport, passenger buses and tractors with and without a trailer.(macauhub)