The construction of the Kazungula bridge project which started in December 2014 is nearing completion with the Botswana side scheduled for the finishing point in June this year.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Transport and Communications Neil Fitt said the construction of a temporary bridge on the Zambian side has been completed.
Phase one of the project comprises the construction of a 923-metre-long rail and road bridge, while phase two involves construction of one-stop border post facilities and ramps on the Botswana side and the final phase involves construction of similar facilities and ramps on the Zambian side.
Once the project is complete, it is expected to reduce border transit times from as much as five days to only one or two days. It is also envisaged that improved border operations and management will ensure efficient service delivery and curb congestions. It would also provide the much-needed connection between the regional economic areas and link regional ports which handle exports and imports from and through Botswana and Zambia.
The bridge would also enhance transportation of cargo and passenger traffic along the regional North-South Corridor, which links the mineral-rich regions of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Botswana, Zimbabwe and the port of Durban in South Africa.
The construction of the bridge has so far been said to have created more than 500 jobs in Botswana and Zambia, and is anticipated to create 700 jobs at its peak. Zambia and Botswana Governments are jointly implementing the US$ 161,961, 304.84 Kazungula Bridge project while Daewoo Engineering and Construction Company Limited of South Korea is the contractor for the Bridge.