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Freedom Bridge to start operating next year

By James Atem Kuir

The long-awaited Freedom Bridge will finally be ready for traffic movements next year on the eleventh anniversary of the country’s Independence, Roads and Bridges Minister has said.

Construction of the 3.6-kilometer-long bridge commenced in 2015 following the signing of 52 million U.S. dollars grant between South Sudan and the government of Japan.

The Japanese government through its international development agency, JICA allocated 91 million U.S dollars for the bridge construction project.

Speaking on the state-run South Sudan Broadcast Corporation (SSBC) on Thursday evening, Simon MijokMijakthe Minister of Roads and Bridges, said the remaining works on the carrier were near completion and that it would officially open for use in July next year.

“We are told that the bridge will be ready in July 2022as part of our celebration of Independence Day as it was named to be a Freedom Bridge,” he said.

The bridge construction project was expected to be completed by 2018 but construction work were suspended in 2016 amid renewed fighting inJuba.

Once completed, the bridge will relieve the Juba Bridge from traffic congestion and enhance transportation of goods across the Nile. Juba Bridge is the only one connecting South Sudan to the East African countries where the country import thousands of tons worth of goods every year.

The new bridge is expected to last 100 years according to the engineers undertaking the construction project.

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