Six of the biggest bridge projects under construction and development
12 May 2023
A Chinese-led consortium is gearing up to build what will become Africa’s second-longest bridge in Lagos, Nigeria. The US$2.5 billion Fourth Mainland Crossing is one of a number of bridge mega projects around the world, six of the biggest of which will cost more than US$12 billion between them.
International Construction took a look at six of the biggest bridge projects under development and construction:
1) Gordie Howe International Bridge, North America
The Gordie Howe International Bridge is a six-lane toll bridge crossing the Detroit River between the City of Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.
Scheduled for completion in 2024, it will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, with a main span of 0.53 miles (0.85km).
The total project cost for the 1.5-mile (2.4km) crossing is US$4.42 billion, while the design and build contract is worth $2.68 billion.
A joint venture between ACS Infrastructure Canada (40%), Fluor Canada (40%) and Aecon Concessions (20%) is implementing the bridge.
It will run a 36-year design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM) concession.
The remaining $1.5bn of the project cost will cover the operations-maintenance-rehabilitation phase. The DBFOM route is expected to save $470m compared to a traditional procurement.
2) Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge, Philippines
The Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge in the Philippines is expected to cost in the region of US$3.6 billion.
The 32.2km-long, four-lane, cable-stayed bridge will cross the Manila Bay.
It will connect Barangay Alas-asin in Mariveles, Bataan, and Barangay Timalan, Naic, Cavite. Two cable-stayed bridges make up the project.
The North Channel Bridge will have a main span of 400m. The South Channel Bridge will have a 900m span. Both will stand in water as deep as 50m.
Engineering company TYLin, the Republic of Korea’s Pyunghwa Engineering Consultants, Switzerland-based Renardet, and the Philippines’ DCCD Engineering Corporation are working up a detailed engineering design for the structure. Construction is due to start in 2024.
3) Fourth Mainland Bridge, Nigeria
The CCECC-CRCCIG consortium, led by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation has won preferred bidder status on the $2.5 billion Fourth Mainland Bridge.
The 37km-long structure will run between Lagos Island and Lagos City. It will reduce congestion on the Third Mainland Bridge, built in 1990.
The bridge will carry two four-land carriageways and will feature three toll booth areas, nine interchanges, and a 4.5km ‘Lagoon Bridge’.
It will operate under a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain and Transfer (DBFOMT) model for the Lagos State Government.
Construction is due to start this year, with completion scheduled for 2027. Reserve bidder is a consortium between Portuguese contractor Mota-Engil, China Communications (CCCC) and China Road and Bridge.
4) Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge, Bangladesh
Two consortia led by Japanese contractors have already built nearly 60% of the Bangabandhu Railway Bridge.
The dual-gauge, dual-track, steel truss bridge runs for 4.8km over the Jamuna River in Bangladesh. It will involve the construction of 50 piers and 49 spans.
The Obayashi-TOA-JFE joint venture is building the eastern package of the works.
A JV between IHI Infrastructure Systems and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction is working on the western package.
Other work includes a 7.6km-long double-line approach embankment. The project, worth around $1.6 billion, will complete in 2025.
5) Fourth Panama Canal Bridge, Panama
The Panamanian government aims to resume construction of the US$1.5 billion Fourth Panama Canal Bridge this year.
The Panamá Cuarto Puente consortium between China Harbour Engineering Company and China Construction Communications Company won a deal to build the bridge in 2018.
But the Panamanian government postponed funding for the bridge to focus on the construction of a $2.5 billion metro line.
Public works minister Rafael Sabonge said in January 2023 that bridge construction would resume.
TYLin is serving as engineer on the 3km-long cable-stayed bridge. It will feature two towers and the main span will be 510m long by 51m wide. The centre span will by 75m above the Panama Canal.
6) ‘Africa’s longest bridge’ in Tanzania
Plans to build the longest bridge in Africa have progressed to the advanced stages in Tanzania’s Parliament.
The 50km bridge will connect Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s major city, with Zanzibar Island. Plans are in their early stages and the cost of the project, as well as details on how it will be constructed are not yet known.
Geofrey Kasekenya, Tanzania’s deputy minister of Works and Transport, announced in May this year that the China Overseas Engineering Group Company (COVEC) has expressed interest in collaborating on the project and has been in advanced talks with stakeholders on mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.
The project is expected to involve a partnership with the private sector to facilitate the construction of the bridge. Although negotiations for the project began in March 2023, a start date for construction has not been set.
Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has prioritised boosting trade with the rest of the continent and taking advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
The Tanzanian government is also discussing plans to build a rail link with Kenya and an electrified railway to connect with Burundi passing through the Democratic Republic of Congo to reduce trade barriers.