Gov’t to enforce road tolls towards new bridge

Freedom Bridge on the day of its official opening. Photo/ Phillip Buda Ladu

By Taban Henry

The ministry of roads and bridges said that they are trying to impose the road tolls for the maintenance of the newly constructed Freedom Bridge.

This came yesterday during the inauguration ceremony of the newly constructed Freedom Bridge. The construction of the bridge started in 2013 which was halted after the country broke into war the same year and resumed in 2015 which was later again interrupted by the conflict in 2016.

Speaking during the occasion, the minister of Road and Bridges Simon Mijok Mijak said that they are rising against time to get legal mandates in terms of Bills from the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs in order to impose road tolls and other levies for the maintenance of the roads and bridges in the country.

He said that the Nimule road is an experience saying the security of the bridge is there biggest challenge citing that he must do justice here despite all negativity in the security sector.

“This is a policy we are advocating for in the ministry of roads and bridges. It is taking the public money and putting in the pockets of the ministry indirectly. This bridge may need the enforcement of Weight Bridge because the load is now 100 and over for the old bridge but the bridge is designed to take 56,” he said.

Mijok described master plan of the ministry of Roads and Bridges.

“Juba City is going to have five bridges of which we are already having the old and the new bridge so we are left with three more bridges to be constructed because we are moving to other locations as bridges in Bor and in Wau are soon completing in a month’s time. As we are moving, the Luri is the next step of our celebration together with Haboba, Kabo, Kopuri and even Luri five somewhere part of the C4,” he noted.         

He added that the construction of this bridge will improve the mobility and operation of delivering safely and more reliable travel for motorists including pedestrians, and also the benefit gain directly through employment opportunities.

“To realize the potential of this bridge, there must be the Lologo by-pass and I am telling my people in Lologo that now the price of the land is even more than that of Munuki,” he said.

“As it is well known that road transport is fundamentally important for the development and growth of a nation, it plays a critical role in advancing industry, agriculture and trade by providing means of transportation of goods and services as well as enhancing poverty reduction by accessing communities locally and internationally,” he added.

The minister ever since the pre and post-independence of the country in 2011 considered an amount from both the government and development partners have been invested in rehabilitating roads network and bridges in both urban and rural sites of the country with one of them being the Freedom Bridge.

He added that the size of the bridge is 560 meters and it links up with the road in Luri based on the visibility study done by the JICA in 2007.

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