New Gerezani Bridge draws hopes

THE construction of the new multibillion Gerezani Bridge, which is set for completion late this year, is already casting hopes in addressing traffic congestion and cutting transport costs.

The 25.23bn/- bridge connects the city centre and the busiest Kariakoo market to the most populated district of Temeke in the city of Dar es Salaam.

According to a study, the 25.23bn/- bridge with a four carriageway and two for rapid bus, will increase traffic capacity from the current 825 vehicles per hour per lane to 1740 vehicles/
hr/lane.

“Through widening the section between Kamata intersection and Kilwa road intersection, average travel speed during the morning-noon and evening peaks will be increased from 0.7 km/h—due to congestion—to around 40 km/h, thereby greatly shortening travel times,” a preparatory survey report on the project for Improvement of Transport Capacity in Dar es Salaam
said.

The report conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showed that increasing transport capacity between Kamata and Kilwa intersections will improve the level of convenience of transport in Dar
es Salaam.

“Construction of the road project will make it possible to separate vehicles travelling at the standard speed from slow ones, thereby ensuring safe and smooth traffic flow,” the report said.

The bridge is part of the second phase of the Dar Bus Rapid Trans (BRT), the multi-billion project that is slated to be completed next March at over 285bn/-.

The Gerezani Bridge is one of the three bridges under the second phase of BRT; the other two are flyovers at Kurasini at the junction of Kilwa Road and Nelson Mandela Expressway and at Chang’ombe at the junction of Nyerere and Kawawa roads.

The Gerezani Bridge is under the supervision of the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and Sumitomo
Mitsui Construction Company (SMCC) being the main contractor.

Elaborating, BRT Project Manager Barakael Mmari said the construction of Gerezeni Bridge has reached 83 per cent, adding that: “The construction of the bridge is going well and has reached an advance stage.”

Also the Gerezani Bridge through Kilwa road will link Dar es Salaam to the southern parts of the country, thus
contributing to the economic development of the south and helping rectify poverty differentials in that region.

The agreement for construction of the bridge was inked in 2019 but faced a number of hitches due to the
outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The agreement included the construction of a new road bridge along Bandari Road to replace the existing two-lane bridge with a new 4-lane bridge in response to increasing traffic volume together with rapid economic growth of the country.

“In addition,” the report showed, “its well-considered design can accommodate a new service route of BRT, and Standard Gauge Railway passing under the bridge”.

The project, funded by Japan under JICA, will be 40-metre long and 30-metre wide allowing expansion of the highway into six lanes. The project has offered some 400 jobs. Although the report was conducted a decade ago but it was targeted to construct a bridge that will handle traffic increase volume of up to 2030, since Dar es Salaam plays a central role in the economy and physical distribution in the country.

“As the city is the starting point for all transport systems, including the road, rail, air, and maritime transport systems, it is truly the strategic point for transport in Tanzania,” the report said.

The report showed that the number of registered vehicles in the city has grown at an annual rate of 7.0 per cent which is higher than the population growth rate of around 5.0 per cent.

As a result, the traffic congestion along trunk roads is worsening every year, hampering economic activities in the
city.

The new Gerezani Bridge will replace the aged steel one constructed in 1960s which has been used with subsequent repairs; however, records of these repairs no longer exist in TANROADS.

The project scope covers the upgrading of a 1.3 km section of the target road starting from Kamata Intersection,
where the target road intersects with Nyerere Road, and ending at the Bandari /Kilwa Intersection, where Bandari Road intersects with Kilwa Road, to four lanes (with consideration of the BRT programme) together with the replacement of a bridge and the construction of drainage facilities and other auxiliary road structures.

The SMCC, a Japanese contractor which successfully completed the first flyover at Tazara, is the bridge contractor.
Nevertheless, BRT Phase 2 involves the construction of infrastructure that includes 20.3km of exclusive BRT lanes
and non-motorised transport facilities along Kilwa Road corridor and part of Kawawa Road.

The project corridor traverses from Mbagala area in Temeke District to the Central Business District where it connects with Phase 1 of the BRT system at the Kariakoo hub.

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