Maputo-Katembe Bridge - The longest suspension bridge in Africa has been officially opened

By: Luke Daniel - 11 November 2018 and adapted from Wikipedia (12 November 2018)

The longest suspension bridge in Africa has officially been opened to the public, following four years of construction undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation.

The Maputo-Katembe Bridge was inaugurated by the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, on Saturday 10 November 2018. The three-kilometre-long suspension bridge, which extends 680 metres over Maputo Bay, has been lauded as Southern Africa’s latest and greatest engineering feat.

The four-lane suspension bridge will be 3041 metres long and cross the bay at a height of 60 metres. The northern viaduct (foreland bridge) will be 1097 metres long, approximately S-shaped and will be connected to the Praça-16-de-Junho roundabout (connected to the EN1/EN2/EN4 highways) in the Maputo neighbourhood of Malanga. The southern viaduct will be 1264 metres long and consist of precast elements. It is directly connected to the road to Ponta do Ouro.

Originally, pylons were also planned in the bay itself, but they were removed after a change of plan so as not to unnecessarily obstruct shipping traffic. A span of 680 metres is bridged without pillars between the two pylons located on the banks. This makes the bridge the largest of its kind in Africa. The main supporting cables are each connected to a solid anchor block via steel structures in the north and south. The extremely high loads of the structure require pile foundations with diameters of 1.50 m to 2.20 m. The piles reach 110 m deep into the claystone. The two pylons are 141 m high, at a height of about 40 metres there is a crossbar for the roadway. The individual prefabricated steel elements for the carriageway are 25.60 m wide and 12 m long. These were produced in China and installed from the ship lying on the quay wall.

The project also includes the extension of the road from Katembe to the border town of Ponta do Ouro (129 kilometres) and between Boane and Bela Vista (63 kilometres), including bridges over the Maputo, Futi and Umbelúzi rivers. After completion of the bridge, an extension of the EN1 trunk road over the bridge to Ponta do Ouro is possible.


Click here for drone footage of the construction phase

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