Brazzaville–Kinshasa Bridge

The Brazzaville–Kinshasa Bridge is a proposed road-rail bridge construction project over the Congo River that will connect the Republic of the Congo to the Democratic Republic of the Congo at their respective capitals, Brazzaville and Kinshasa. The project has proceeded intermittently, but work is slated to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2028.

Brazzaville–Kinshasa Bridge
Kinshasa & Brazzaville - ISS007-E-6305 lrg.jpg
Brazzaville and Kinshasa
Coordinates4°19′16″S 15°14′8″E / 4.32111°S 15.23556°E / -4.32111; 15.23556
Characteristics
Total length1,575m
History
Opening2028
Location

BackgroundEdit

The cities of Brazzaville and Kinshasa, capitals of the Republic of the Congo (ROC) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) respectively, are situated on opposite banks of the Congo River. They are considered the closest national capitals on Earth.[1][2] Plans for a bridge crossing the Congo River to connect the two countries were financed in 1991 but shelved in 1993 due to a lack of funding and turmoil in the ROC.[2]

The project was revived a decade later in 2003 by the ROC's Transport Infrastructure Unit (Cellule d’infrastructures de transport), which had previously cooperated with the European Union on similar projects in Central Africa.[2] The proposed bridge was relocated downstream to take advantage of the rocky riverbed which would facilitate easier erection of bridge pillars. The cost of construction was estimated to be between 40 million and 80 million euros in 2003.[2] In January 2004, the project was endorsed by the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), which by then was estimated to cost 403 million euros.[3]

The project stalled in 2005 when DRC presidential chief of staff Léonard She Okitundu expressed that the project would adversely affect economic activity in its port towns of Boma and Matadi, which are key contributors to its economy. The DRC refused to endorse the bridge project without a commitment by the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to finance a deepwater port in Banana, its only city on the Atlantic coast. Okitundu also confirmed that sanctions by the African Union meant the DRC had been excluded from negotiations with NEPAD regarding the projects.[4] A 2010 report by the World Bank stated that the proposed bridge would increase maritime traffic to Pointe-Noire in the ROC instead.[5]

Following a study in 2009, the project laid dormant until a meeting was held in Libreville, Gabon in December 2016 between the two countries. In January 2017, the ECCAS reactivated the project, with the African Development Bank pledging 250 million euros to the project.[6] The two Congos were to raise the remaining 110 million euros and seek donors for an additional 40 million euros.[6] An agreement was formally signed in November 2018 between the ROC and DRC for a 1,575m-long toll bridge to connect their capitals.[7]

Construction works have since been repeatedly delayed with works now expected to commence in 2023.[6][8][9] The bridge is expected to be completed in 2028.[9]

GaugeEdit

The gauge of the railway line over the bridge would be 1067mm.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jennings, Ken (6 November 2017). "The World's Closest Capitals Are Just 2 Miles Apart". Condé Nast Traveler. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d "Relance du projet d'érection d'un pont sur le fleuve Congo entre Kinshasa et Brazzaville" [Relaunch of the project to erect a bridge over the Congo River between Kinshasa and Brazzaville]. Congopage (in French). 14 April 2003. Archived from the original on 7 November 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  3. ^ "RDC – Congo : un pont pour relier Kinshasa et Brazzaville ?" [DRC - Congo: a bridge to connect Kinshasa and Brazzaville?]. jeuneafrique. 29 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  4. ^ "La Rdc s'oppose au projet pont - route- rail entre Kinshasa et Brazzaville" [The DRC opposes the bridge - road - rail project between Kinshasa and Brazzaville]. Congopage (in French). 26 August 2005. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  5. ^ "Infrastructure de la République du Congo : Une perspective continentale" [Infrastructure of the Republic of Congo: A Continental Perspective] (PDF). World Bank (in French). p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 October 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "Un pont reliant Brazzaville et Kinshasa: le projet se précise" [A bridge connecting Brazzaville and Kinshasa: the project is taking shape]. Actualite (in French). 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 12 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  7. ^ Alfa Shaban, Abdur Rahman (15 November 2018). "Congos separated by River Congo to link up with $550m bridge". Africanews. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Road-rail bridge between Brazzaville and Kinshasa [Business Africa]". Africanews. 16 May 2019. Archived from the original on 26 February 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  9. ^ a b Woof, MJ (23 March 2020). "Congo-Congo Congo crossing connection construction". World Highways. Archived from the original on 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.

Coordinates: 04°15′33″S 15°17′05″E / 4.25917°S 15.28472°E / -4.25917; 15.28472