By: Kebba AF Touray
The African Development Bank dubbed AfDB says the total cost of construction of phase 1 of the Senegambia Bridge formerly called Trans-Gambia Bridge is UA 67.36 million.
The Bank made this disclosure in a document entitled “The Gambia- Senegal Construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge and Cross Border Improvement ( The Trans-Gambia Corrido)”.
“The total project cost of phase 1, including contributions from the two governments ( Gambia and Senegal), is UA 67.36 million,” said the AfDB in the document.
UA means Unit of Accounts, which is a basket of currencies consisting of currencies such as the dollar, Euro, Pound, and Yen, and is the same as the Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which is mainly used by the IMF.
As indicated by the Bank in the document, the subject of the Preliminary Architectural Report (PAR), includes the construction of the Trans-Gambia Bridge and two One Stop Border Posts (OSBPs), while phase 2 comprises of rehabilitation of 137km of Senoba-Zinguinchor road in Senegal, and pavement strengthening of 24km of Farafenni- Senoba road in the Gambia.
The Bank indicated that the project is co-financed by the Bank Group (99.07%), the Government of the Gambia 0.24 percent and the government of Senegal (0.69 percent), and the project was agreed to be executed over a period of five years from 2012-2017.
The construction of the bridge, as detailed by the Bank, will allow free traffic flow between the northern and southern parts of both the Gambia and Senegal, and thus reduce travel time, boost trade, and reinforce cohesion among communities that were previously isolated.
“The project will facilitate the transportation of agricultural products to markets, reducing post-harvest losses and boosting socio-economic activities,” said the AfDB in the document.
As detailed in the document, the sector goal of the project is to support the economic growth of the countries on the Trans-Gambian Corridor, considered part of the Trans-West African Highway, and ECOWAS at large by fostering integration through reliable, efficient, and seamless transport infrastructure that will increase the competitiveness of the whole region.
The project also aims to reduce transport cost, travel time, and customs formality times at the borders, and enhance potential for trade thereby contributing to poverty reduction and social-economic empowerment of communities on the corridor and the West African Region as a whole.