The construction of the Freedom Bridge in Juba will be completed by July 2021 and is expected to be formidable for about 100 years.
This is according to Umeda Norio – the Bridge Resident engineer.
In March 2015, President Salva Kiir and the Japan International Cooperation Agency inaugurated the 3.6-kilometre-long bridge.
The $91 million project was expected to reach completion within a few years after the inauguration.
However, the renewed conflict that erupted in 2016 made Japan to evacuate its workers from South Sudan and suspended the construction of the Freedom Bridge, and the clean water supply system in Juba.
Earlier this year, the government of Japan pledged an additional $28 million for the completion of Freedom Bridge whose construction has been suspended across the Nile river in Juba.
Last year, a technical team from Japan assessed the 3.6-kilometre-long bridge to help the Japanee government in its resumption plans.
It is reportedly one of the promises made to President Kiir by Japan during his first bilateral meeting in 2017.
“We [resumed] started [construction] from 1st of May this year and it will be completed by end of July 2021,” said Engineer Umeda Norio, while inspecting work at the bridge on Thursday.
The bridge is being funded from Japan’s Grant Aid for Conflict Prevention and Peace Building.
Mr. Norio added that the bridge is expected to last a century.
“I will generally say the bridge’s lifespan will be 100 years if maintenance is properly done. If there is no maintenance, it will dilapidate before 100 years. So, I hope good maintenance and management to keep the bridge life expand for 100 years,” he said.
The Japanese embassy says investments in South Sudan -either through funding the peace process, or development projects -is meant to enable the private sector to take off in building the economy.
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