By Awan Achiek
The long-awaited opening of freedom bridge will happen on 19th May 2022, a senior government official announced on Friday.
Speaking to journalists on Friday after a regular cabinet meeting in Juba, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the bridge will be inaugurated by President Salva Kiir on 19th of this month.
“The Minister for Roads and Bridges informed us that the freedom bridge at present is ready and the commissioning of the bridge will be done by H.E the President on 19th May,” Makuei told reporters after cabinet meeting on Friday.
Makuei urged members of the public to join the government in celebrating long-awaited commissioning the Japanese funded bridge.
“We are calling upon the public to attend the day, to come and participate and celebrate with people of South Sudan and the government,” Makuei said.
In March 2015, President Salva Kiir and Japan International Cooperation Agency inaugurated 3.6-kilometre-long bridge in Juba.
The construction of the bridge started in 2013 but outbreak of conflict in the same year halted its progress.
After resumption of work in 2015, renewed fighting erupted again in 2016 that led to evacuation of the staff from the country and the work was suspended.
The Freedom Bridge is the major bridge in South Sudan with total length of 560m, width of 12.9m and access roads on both sides making total of 3700m.
The initial cost for the project was $91 million but in 2019 Japan government approved additional $28 million for completion of the bridge.
It is expected to lessen heavy traffics in Juba city and boost economic activities in the country.