The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a EUR 769.78 million loan towards the improvement of the urban transport system in the port capital of Côte d’Ivoire, Abidjan.
The financing will go towards the development of 87.9 kilometres of urban roads; a 1, 400-metre bridge; six interchanges; and rehabilitation of traffic lights at 89 intersections.
It will also include urban waste management and strengthening of existing capacity for traffic control; urban planning; local revenue enhancement; road safety; and protection of natural ecosystems.
According to AFDB’s Director of Transport and ICT, Amadou Oumarou, the enhancements will improve traffic flow, air quality and quality of life; reduce road accidents and greenhouse gases; strengthen urban management; increase household revenues; and recycle waste.
Abidjan has an estimated population of 4.71 million that is projected to reach 8.5 million by 2030.
It is the economic hub of Côte d’Ivoire and a dynamic economic centre for West Africa as a whole supported by the services sector through transport and strong urbanization.
Abidjan is the main supplier of products and services, making Côte d’Ivoire the third largest exporting country in Africa.
With the rise of vehicular traffic as a result of the growing population, the city’s road network and traffic control systems have proved inadequate in ensuring free traffic flow, constraining its economic potential.
The cost of malfunctions in Abidjan’s transport system including accidents, congestion, air pollution, greenhouse effects and noise is estimated at 8 per cent of the national GDP annually.
AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said the project would benefit the entire population, especially state and local institutions, women’s associations, industrialists, transporters and agricultural producers.
The entire project will be implemented from March 2017 to December 2021.
Focus on the Fourth Bridge
Construction of the bridge is expected to start in 2017 and end in 2020.
The bridge, the fourth in Abidjan, will span a stretch of the Ebrié lagoon to connect the communes of Plateau and Adjamé with Yopougon.
Yopougon is the most populous municipality of the Abidjan conurbation with an estimated two million people and also an important industrial center.
The communes of Adjame east of the Plateau are the main poles of the country’s business and administration.
Jean Noël Ilboudo, AfDB Transport Engineer and project coordinator said, “The bridge and the access roads associated with it will facilitate the daily travel of hundreds of thousands of Abidjanese and help to decongest the existing roads. It is estimated that more than 70,000 vehicles will pass through the bridge.”
It will facilitate the movement of goods between the southern part of the city where the port and Vridi industrial zone are located; and the western and northern zones where new industrial zones are rapidly developing.
Regionally, the fourth bridge will be a transit route between the port of Abidjan and the international road corridors to Burkina Faso in the north and to Liberia in the west promoting integration and stimulating exchanges with neighbouring countries.