But for the disruption to international travel and other economic activities across the globe caused by COVID-19 from the start of 2020 that disturbed the processing of bids for its construction, President Bio would have in September this year formally announced the start of the USD1.2 billion four-lane Lungi Bridge.
State House sources meanwhile have confirmed that the project has been tabled before Cabinet which has approved it for onward laying of it in parliament for approval.
In December 2019, the Office of the President Infrastructural Initiative (OPII) and a French construction company EIFFAGE visited the project site.
The visit was to conduct a visibility study on the proposed project site to identify the possible two abutment location and also to conduct an underwater survey that will determine the underwater futures and topography.
Sometime this year, the Chairman of the Presidential Initiative on Infrastructure, Dr. John Edward Tambi, informed journalists that construction work on the proposed Lungi-Freetown Bridge will commence by the third quarter of this year.
He added that despite the ongoing fight against the Coronavirus pandemic which has affected progress in many sectors, engagements with the builders of the bridge are at an advanced stage.
The 7.6 kilometer bridge project was first announced by President Bio in 2019. It has the potential of raising $11 billion in revenue over the next 25 years when completed.
“We have looked at it realistically,” Dr Tambi told journalists, adding, “What we can do that is not too ambitious, what we can do that the construction cannot be too difficult and what can we do that can save cost? And so we have managed to reduce that to $1.1 billion,” he said.