<a href=Vice President Taban Deng Gai and his delegation inspect the Juba Bridge on Thursday, November 18th, 2021 (radiotamazuj.org)


South Sudan's Vice President for Infrastructure, Taban Deng Gai, last week inspected the construction and repair works at the Juba and Freedom Bridges. 

One lane of the Juba Bridge has been under repair since October, leaving the bridge partially operational causing a snarl-up in traffic, while the Freedom Bridge has been under construction since 2016.

But, the government now says the other lane of the old bridge will be operational in less than two weeks and the Freedom Bridge will be completed in six months.

“Maintenance of the old bridge is about to finish though we will still face problems on the old bridge because of overloading. I am appealing to all the companies to avoid overloading of the trucks to save the old bridge because it has a historical meaning and we still need it,” Vice President Taban Deng Gai said.

Engineer Peter Atem who supervises the rehabilitation of one lane of the Juba Bridge on behalf of the Rhino Stars Company says the lane under repair would be ready in two weeks. 

"We are very happy that the bridge will open in 10-14 days. Everyone should be patient as we are waiting for the slab to dry and that will take about 10 to 14 days,” he said.

VP Deng speaking at the Freedom Bridge said the construction work will come to an end in about six months.

“We still have more than six months to complete this bridge. This is great support from the people and the government of Japan. We thank the government of Japan for this very important support. This is going to ease communication between parts of South Sudan, Uganda, and the Western parts of the Nile. This is going to boost a lot of economic activities between Juba and parts of Western Equatoria, Bahr El Ghazal, and Upper Nile Regions,” he added.

The Japanese Resident Engineer Omeda Norio told reporters in Juba Thursday that the Freedom Bridge will be opened next year on July 5th.

“To the public, I will say Freedom Bridge will be ready by the 6th of July. I am very happy to contribute to this bridge for the people of South Sudan. Before there was nothing in this area of the Nile but now you can see this structure and that is our job,” he said.

The Freedom Bridge was named after the independence of the Republic of South Sudan as a grant from the government of Japan.

The Juba Bridge was built by a Dutch construction company De Groot International under a United Nations program between 1972 to 1974 to connect Juba Town to the eastern bank of the River Nile. 

"We have initiated a discussion at a low level especially with the former Ambassador of Japan for more grants for this kind of support because we need more bridges. For the public information, we are discussing with a Turkish company that will repair Nimule road to construct another bridge South of Juba and is going to be about six kilometers south of Juba,” Vice President Deng concluded.

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