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Official warns of another partial closure of Juba Bridge

Author: Woja Emmanuel | Published: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

This truck got stuck on the bridge on Tuesday morning, causing a huge traffic jam that lasted nearly 7 hours | Credit | Edir Stephen/SSBC

The Juba Bridge may again be partially closed down if the out-bound lane is not urgently rehabilitated, the head of the Roads Authority has warned.

On Tuesday, a deck at the bridge broke, causing a huge traffic jam for nearly 7 hours.

“If a truck gets stuck because of a cracked deck, we may not have the parts to replace them and then in that eventuality, the bridge lane will have to remain closed until we rehabilitate the whole lane,” Kenyatta Benjamin, CEO, told Eye Radio.

In April, Rhino Star Company completed the rehabilitation of one lane of the bridge after parts of the superstructures holding the bridge could not take heavy trucks or live loads.

The maintenance work was done on the inbound lane only.

In 2019, the Minister of Roads and Bridges banned heavy trucks carrying sand and aggregate from crossing the bridge but the order was largely disregarded.

Benjamin argued that if the remaining lane is not rehabilitated, more damages are expected on the Juba Bridge.

“My concern is even the decks that we are replacing the broken ones today with are left-overs,”

“If we don’t rehabilitate the outbound lane in the shortest possible time, we may end up with a worse situation.”

Juba Bridge was constructed in 1972 and it underwent some repairs in 2008.

It stands as the only bridge across the Nile in all South Sudan, at least until the completion of the Freedom Bridge.

Benjamin added that the full reconstruction work on the Juba Bridge alone will require $4 million.

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