Africa’s longest suspension bridge opens in Maputo, Mozambique

The longest suspension bridge in Africa opened to traffic on Saturday, 10 November in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, costing $750m.

Financed by China and built by China Road and Bridge Corporation, the project began in June 2014.

The entire structure is nearly 3km long, comprising a kilometre-long ramp on either side of a 680-metre span over Maputo Bay, which opens onto the Indian Ocean, reports China’s Global Times.

It means people can now get across the body of water from Maputo to Katembe without taking ferries or driving 100km around the bay, according to Deutsche Welle. The ferries did not take heavy goods vehicles.

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi opened the bridge, saying it realised the dream of former president Samora Machel, and would help promote tourism in the country, reports the BBC, which added that "many Mozambiquans" were complaining about the $3 toll.

The bridge is part of a project to link Maputo with South Africa for the first time by road, said the BBC, which also quoted the $750m cost.

Road sections for it were built in China in 12-m-long sections and shipped to Maputo, according to Deutsche Welle.

Opening had been scheduled for 2017, but, according to Deutsche Welle, a months-long delay was caused by the need to relocate a market and families living in the area who had fled the country’s civil war.

Image: The bridge from Maputo, in the foreground, to Katembe, photographed in July 2018, officially opened on 10 November 2018 (Jcornelius/Creative Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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