Plans to decorate and decongest Dar es Salaam city received fresh impetus on Monday, with the contract for construction of the modern Selander Bridge Flyover signed.
The government signed the deal with South Korean GS Engineering & Construction Co Ltd for execution of the three-year project.
President John Magufuli and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon witnessed the agreement signing between Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) and the contractor at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
Dr Magufuli said the 250bn/- project, besides addressing chronic traffic jams on the old Selander Bridge, will also beautify the city.
The president said he has trust in the Korean company, which also constructed the Kikwete Bridge on Malagarasi River in Kigoma region. “The Selander Bridge will be a good symbol of good relationship with South Korea,” he said.
The bridge will cover 6.23 kilometres from Coco Beach area to Aga Khan Hospital, with 1.03-kilometre stretch passing over the Indian Ocean.
During his official talks with Mr Lee, Dr Magufuli said the South Korean Prime Minister assured him of working on his plea to get soft loan from the Exim Bank to finance the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) once the project enters the second and third phases.
The government has already started implementing the first phase of the project, which includes construction of the railroad from Dar es Salaam to Makutupora in Dodoma.
In their talks, Mr Lee told President Magufuli that his country is rich, thanks to strong commitment to hard work and zero tolerance to corruption.
Mr Lee expressed optimisms that Tanzania will also prosper as a result of the current government’s efforts to fight corruption and encourage hard work. South Korea will also support Tanzania’s plan to build a big boat to sail on Lake Victoria.
“All these endeavours aim at transforming Tanzania into a modern state,” he said.
TANROADS Chief Executive Officer Engineer Patrick Mfugale said the bridge construction was a brainchild of President Magufuli who hatched the idea when he was the Works Minister in the previous government.
“He wanted experts to explore the possibility of constructing the Selander Bridge Flyover to reduce traffic jams in the city,” Engineer Mfugale noted.
The feasibility study for the project started in 2014 until 2017 when the contractor for the implementation of the project was procured.