A leading South African engineering consulting company,GIBB are expected to earn at least R40 million from the construction of the Kazungula Bridge scheduled to commence in March 2014 with completion expected for early 2018.
This new bridge which is expected to accommodate both road and rail will cost about US$248 million (P1,8 billion).
GIBB is expected to earn at least R40 million through a joint venture with Nippon Koei, through managing the review of the pre-construction phase and detailed designs and ultimately the construction.
The Kazungula Bridge is a 960m bridge to be built over the next five years.
The Director for Electrical Engineering at GIBB, Dr Willem Sprong said; “We are responsible for the design review, tender documentation and supervision of the construction of the Kazungula Bridge project.”
Sprong further said that the bridge will be unique in that it would consist of two one-stop border posts on either side, which will prevent queues by motorists on the bridge itself.
Other players in the joint venture, working on the project include Bothakga Burrow Botswana, CPP Botswana and Zulu Burrow Development Consultants.
Sprong said, “One of the challenges on this project is that there is an annual three month flooding season inn the area and this will potentially hinder the construction during the period.
The team would have to ensure that they maximise the period before flooding season starts to meet the appropriate deadlines.”
Speaking about the benefit of the bridge, Sprong said it will improve lives of thousands of people who rely on a ferry to travel between Zambia and Botswana.
“School children and breadwinners are forced to wait a minimum of four hours to get across the bridge, but with the new bridge, this would drastically improve access to and from both countries,” said Sprong.
The Kazungula Bridge is a joint venture between Botswana and Zambia, a bilateral trade tie.
It is expected to be instrumental in aiding Botswana and Zambia to work together, increase trade and assist citizens’ work in either country without work permits.