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Construction of Brazil’s long-awaited Salvador-Itaparica Bridge to start “soon”

Postponed since 2021, but discussed since the 1960s, the 2.4 km bridge will be built by a Chinese consortium.

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Postponed since 2021, but discussed since the 1960s, the 2.4 km bridge will be built by a Chinese consortium.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:29 pm

The China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) will start building a US$1.2 billion bridge in the Brazilian state of Bahia “soon”, according to Bahia’s governor, Jerónimo Rodrigues.

The bridge connecting the Bahian capital of Salvador to Itaparica Island, will be the longest overwater bridge in Latin America – at 12.4 km. The Brazilian government has estimated that some 7,000 jobs will be generated during its construction phase, and around 100,000 more over the next 30 years – due to the bridge’s impact on commuting. 

Currently, the commute between Salvador and Itaparica is either a 200 km car trip or an hour-long ferry ride. The ferry trip is unpredictable, with long wait times and frequent cancellations due to weather. The completed bridge will reduce travel times to around 20 minutes, a welcome improvement for the thousands who already make this commute daily.

[See more: Chinese companies invest heavily in Brazil]

The idea of a bridge between Salvador and Itaparica has been discussed since the 1960s, but no real progress was made until 2019, when a Chinese consortium won the contract to carry out the project. The consortium consists of CCCC, the China Railway 20 Bureau Group (CR20), and the CCCC South America Regional Company (CCCC South America).

 The contract was signed in November 2020, but Covid-19 delayed the start of construction – which was initially scheduled for 2021, with a deadline of five years. 

While a new start date has not been set, Governor Rodrigues made his latest announcement last week – after meeting with Chinese ambassador to Brazil Zhu Qingqiao and Rui Costa, who was chief of staff to the Brazilian president and the governor of Bahia when the bridge contract was initially signed.

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:29 pm

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