Two lanes of Juba Bridge officially opened

By William Madouk Garang

The national Minister of Roads & Bridges has officially opened Juba bridge outbound lane yesterday after engineers finished renovation which took almost two months.

Since October Juba bridge had been using single lane back and forth,a process that led toa long waiting hours and traffic snarl-up while the sister lane was undergoing rehabilitation.

Stopping it from collapsing Rhino Stars Construction Company was contracted to repair the Juba Bridge – a channel of accessing commodities from East Africa to South Sudan.

During the opening ceremony yesterday, the minister of Roads &Bridges, Simon MijokMijak appreciated contractor and partner especially United Kingdom for their unwavering support adding that the misery had come to an end today.

“I thank the public, the people of South Sudan in particular Gumbo – Sherikatfor their patient because for the last two month they are been going difficulties on how to reach their houses and places of work. This is the end of the suffering from today the traffic will go normal,” Majak said.

He added that Freedom Bridge would be inaugurated next year to boost trading and ease the movement meanwhile Juba Bridge would remain for small vehicles and tourism or momentous.

The Deputy Head of Mission of British Embassy, Kate Johnston said the opening outbound ofJuba bridges was very vital because it connect the country to the rest of the East African countries.

She reaffirmed UK commitment to support South Sudan particularly in education sector to bring up people who would build more bridges in the nearest future.

 Kate lauded the opening of the bridge adding that it would be a great relief to thousands of vehicles and people whoqueued for hours under sun heats or rains.

On his part, the Managing Director of Rhino Stars Construction Company, Peter Atem urged the government to empower the army especially engineering corps to improve their livelihood and to be able to build bridges across the country.

He added that a country that invest on her citizens in term of human resource development were no the super power and strong economically.

“Build your own people when you build your people you have built the economic power to your own citizens and you cannot run out of cash,”Atem advised.

In an inclusive interview with Juba Monitor, a motoristsAyii Aganysaid the reopening of the bridge was a sign of relieve to them adding one lane had affected their business as they could wait for two to three hours to cross other side.

“The reopening of the bridge is really a good news to us and entire people because they can go to hustle and the work will go back as usual and again this bridge is food basket to South Sudan,” Agany stressed.

However, a driver who operate in line of Gumbo – Konyokonyo, Hakim Henry said they had faced a very challenging when the bridge was still one lane in which they get caught in roadblock.

He added that most of the drivers had shifted their line from Gumbo – Konyokonyo to other destination such as Lologo and other partbecause of delay at the bridge.

“The worst part is when the line is open on other side while some cars were still coming from the opposite side and run into each other in the middle of the bridge,” Henry lamented.

In April 2020, Rhino Star Construction Company completed the rehabilitation of bridge with an estimated cost of 4 million US dollar after parts of structure holding the bridge could not hold heavy trucks.

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