The event which was held at the Yelli Tenda-Bamba Tenda crossing point was part of a series of activities marking 50 years of the country’s independence.
Madam Njie-Saidy said: “The construction of the bridge could serve as a foundation for the economic integration of the Ecowas region thus bringing more economic benefit to the two countries.
“The event is indeed momentous, we all agree, in that it marks the beginning of the realisation of one of our most complex yet socio-economically significant engineering works undertaken in transport and physical infrastructural development.”
She said of the benefits of the bridge: “The Trans-Gambia corridor is an important, strategic link that connects the northern as well as the southern parts of The Gambia and the neighbouring Senegal as well. It serves both inter and intra-state trade.
“After its successful completion, the bridge is envisaged to facilitate the free flow of traffic between the northern as well as the southern part of both Senegal and The Gambia as part of the Trans-West African highway. It is also envisaged that the project will facilitate over-land traffic flow in West Africa as a whole, thus enhancing regional integration.”
For the Senegalese Prime Minister, Mohamed Boun Abdallah Dionne, the bridge ‘fits perfectly in a shared commitment to strengthening the cooperation between Gambia and Senegal’.
He added: “This project is part of a sub-regional integration policy aimed at promoting the inter-connection of road networks in our countries, reduce travel time, and strengthen the cohesion between our peoples. The bridge will also provide a strategic and economic bridge between the states of Ecowas, especially in the part of the corridor stretching from Dakar to Lagos.”
The 942 meters bridge is jointly funded by Ecowas and ADB. It is contracted to a consortium of Senegalese and Spanish companies and will be supervised by French and Tunisian experts. It is worth over one billion dalasi and will take 36 months to complete.]]>