By Amin Kef (Ranger)
The Government of Sierra Leone, in collaboration with China Road and Bridge Corporation and the architectural firm, Atépa Group, has initiated steps towards a significant infrastructural development. An announcement made on 1st December, 2023 confirmed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the ambitious Freetown-Lungi Bridge project.
This project is part of President Julius Maada Bio’s Big 5 vision, aimed at enhancing Sierra Leone’s technology and infrastructure, thereby fostering a connection between the capital city and the strategic Lungi airport hub. The bridge is expected to streamline transportation for both international and local travelers.
With an estimated cost of about $1.5 billion, the proposed 8-km bridge promises to be a catalyst for sustained economic growth. It is also seen as a complementary addition to the new airport commissioned on March 3, 2023, by President Maada Bio. This modern airport, replacing the one built in 1945, was constructed at a cost of $270 million.
The China Road and Bridge Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest engineering and construction firms in the world. With operations in more than 50 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas, the company brings significant global expertise to the project.
Adding to the project’s potential is the Atépa Group, a company known for its architectural excellence. The company’s portfolio boasts several globally renowned projects, including the Banjul Airport in Gambia, the headquarters of BCEAO in Dakar, Senegal, the ECOWAS Fund headquarters in Lomé, Togo, and the Monument of the Renaissance in Dakar.
The next few months will see the completion of a feasibility study for the bridge project. If all goes as planned, construction is set to commence in the last quarter of 2024 and is estimated to be completed within three years from the start date, according to Chernor A. Bah, the Minister of Information and Civic Education of the Republic of Sierra Leone.