Chinese-built bridge linking vital communities in Cote d'Ivoire's economic capital nears completion
This aerial photo taken on May 25, 2023 shows vehicles working on the road of the 4th Bridge of Abidjan project in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. (Zhang Chaoqun/China State Construction Engineering Corporation/Handout via Xinhua)
A Chinese-built bridge project in Cote d'Ivoire is set to transform commuting between Abidjan's major communities, providing an alternative to the often heavily congested Northern Highway.
ABIDJAN, May 27 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese-built bridge project in Cote d'Ivoire is set to transform commuting between Abidjan's major communities, providing an alternative to the often heavily congested Northern Highway.
The 4th Bridge of Abidjan, now more than 80 percent complete, will connect Yopougon, the largest commune of the country's economic capital, to Plateau via Attecoube and Adjame.
Qiao Weidong, head of the project at the Cote d'Ivoire branch of China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), told Xinhua that the bridge, once operational, is expected to accommodate tens of thousands of vehicles daily, substantially easing traffic congestion in the bustling West African metropolis.
This aerial photo taken on May 25, 2023 shows the 4th Bridge of Abidjan project under construction in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. (Zhang Chaoqun/China State Construction Engineering Corporation/Handout via Xinhua)
Tan Dengfeng, responsible for the project's market relations at the CSCEC, said that traffic in Abidjan presents major challenges, with lagoons dividing the city into several zones that require bridge connections.
"During peak hours, the existing three bridges are particularly prone to severe congestion," Tan said.
Luc Koula, a local resident, emphasized the importance of the bridge, saying that Plateau serves as the city's business district and government administration hub. Many residents have to spend two to three hours commuting from Yopougon to Plateau for work, with the Northern Highway being the primary route. While ferries are available for crossing the lagoons, car travel is more practical for those residing further inland.
This aerial photo taken on May 25, 2023 shows the 4th Bridge of Abidjan project under construction in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire.(Zhang Chaoqun/China State Construction Engineering Corporation/Handout via Xinhua)
The 4th Bridge of Abidjan project, spanning approximately 7 km, started in August 2018 as a vital component of the Abidjan Urban Transport Project. It consists of seven different types of bridges, including a main bridge and a viaduct forming 1.4 km of the main structure, along with a 4-km municipal road.
The project created some 1,500 local employment opportunities in Abidjan and helped generate an additional 2,000 jobs in associated industries, Qiao said.
Begre Eve, an Abidjan resident, has opened two kiosks near the construction site selling beverages and cigarettes to the workers.
"I get along well with the Chinese companies and workers," she said. "They are very kind to me. The Chinese have helped me a lot. They even gave me the two refrigerators you see."
Eve eagerly awaits the completion of the bridge, saying that it will not only facilitate smoother transportation for residents but also bring more business opportunities for her.
According to the CSCEC, the bridge segment of the project is over 90 percent complete, while the road section has 45 percent to go.
The bridge will strengthen transportation links within Abidjan, enhance the city's competitiveness and attractiveness, and potentially contribute to Cote d'Ivoire welcoming visitors from around the world during the Africa Cup of Nations in 2024, the Chinese firm said.