Ivory Coast gets new PPP bridge

The new Henri Konan Bédié bridge built by by subsidiaries of France’s Bouygues Construction has been officially opened in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. 

The 1.5-km-long bridge is part of a new 6.7km road that includes an interchange, two stretches of motorway and a 21-lane toll plaza.

It cost approximately $282m to build, and Bouygues said it is one of the first public-private partnership (PPP) schemes in West Africa. Work began in 2011.

Consisting of two three-lane carriageways, the bridge cuts the journey time between two major districts of Abidjan from one hour to 15 minutes, Bouygues said.

A hundred thousand vehicles a day will use the bridge, which opened on 16 December. 

Bouygues Travaux Publics is the lead shareholder in Socoprim, the joint venture formed to build and operate the bridge and toll road for 30 years.

"As well as opening up the neighbouring hinterland, the new infrastructure will facilitate the transportation of freight to the largest port on Africa’s West Coast," said Philippe Bonnave, deputy chief executive of Bouygues Construction.

Financing was provided by the African Development Bank, the West African Development Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, the African Finance Corporation, FMO (Dutch Investment Bank), Moroccan Bank of External Trade, Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, part of the World Bank Group. 

Other shareholders of Socoprim are Total CI, PAIDF, the Ivory Coast government and the National Investment Bank.

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