The Director of the National Authorising Office, Ambrose James together with staffs at the Sierra Leone Roads Authority visited the Magbele Bridge site to monitor and assess progress of work on the new Bridge along the Masiaka-Rogbere Junction Highway funded under the 11th European Union Development Fund (EDF) as support to the Key Infrastructure Sector in Sierra Leone.
The reason for the visit was to assess progress, monitor timelines and discuss challenges with stakeholders and to also inform the general public on progress of works on the bridge and also to have update on the quality of work and technicalities involve in the construction of the bridge.
Speaking to journalist on the deck slab of the new Magbele Bridge, the Resident Engineer, Politechnica, Alemu Damena said the first and second phases of assembling, welding, non-destructive test, painting, and launching are completed. He said the framework installation, reinforcement bar placement and concreting for the deck slab is also complete.
Alemu Damena further said the construction of the approach road is in progress and with earthworks on the Lungi side at the formation level while Masiaka side preliminary earthwork is also in progress.
CSE Engineer, Abdulai Mbow said the overall project length of the Magbele Bridge with the approach roads is 790m long and the approach roads are 627m long. The bridge structure is 163m long and 10.8m wide to the pedestrian handrail and the carriageway is 7.2m wide. He said the Magbele Bridge superstructure comprises a concrete deck and steel girders, and the structure has two abutments and three piers, has four spans, 34.3m between the abutments and the piers and 47.2m between the piers.
The Magbele Bridge works started on 9th April, 2018 with topographic and geotechnical investigations. The first casting of blinding concrete for abutment A01 was on 11th March, 2019 and the first phase launching of the 81m steel girders took place on 19th January, 2021, and the second phase took place on 21st APRIL, 2021. The casting of the deck slab started on 20th May, 2021.
According to the contractors, CSE and Politechnica, the overall completion of the physical progress is at 87% and the bridge will be completed in December, 2021.
The Director of NAO, Ambrose James said having looked at the progress of works on the bridge and also listen to the contractors and the technical supervisory body SLRA, he is very much impressed with the construction work, and this he said goes in line with the aspirations of both the European Union and the Government of Sierra Leone to improve the country’s key infrastructures to better the lives of Sierra Leoneans.
Ambrose James told journalists that the completion of the bridge in December this year will be a major milestone that will eventually transform traffic flow and facilitate goods and services across regions, and will also reduce vehicle operating costs and travel time.