JOHANNESBURG — A bridge across Africa's mighty Congo River, the first to link the capital cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville, is planned according to an agreement signed in Johannesburg Thursday.
The agreement between the African Development Bank and the governments of the participating states - Congo and the Republic of Congo - was signed on the sidelines of an investor meeting in South Africa. The African Development Bank said it will raise the financing of the project, which is estimated to cost $550 million.
The bridge will be just under 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) long and include a four-lane highway, a railroad track and a pedestrian walkway. The plans are for it to be a toll bridge and there will be border posts at both ends.
Currently ferries connect Kinshasa and Brazzaville, which the bank says are the world's two closest capital cities. Kinshasa is estimated to have a population of 12 million and Brazzaville has about 1.8 million inhabitants.
"The construction of this bridge will not only connect the two cities, but also promote the integration of the region across borders," said Congo's Planning Minister Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, speaking at the signing in Johannesburg. No start or competition dates were given for the construction of the bridge.