Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 November 2018:
President Julius Maada Bio has today officially launched the start of construction work on the four-lane Lumley-Juba bridge, as well as the rehabilitation of the long awaited Limkokwing-Regent road in the far west of Freetown.
According to report from State House, this project is being undertaken as part of the government’s Presidential Initiative on Infrastructure – a project which, it is alleged the former Koroma-led government had received Chinese funding of about $2 million but never implemented.
The curved bridge linking the two expanding communities, west of the capital Freetown, will cost $2.4 million, with $1.5 million provided as grant-in-aid by the Chinese government and the remaining cost to be met by the government of Sierra Leone.
At a ceremony held in the Lumley Community, the President said that the bridge and road construction are in line with his government’s commitment to purposeful and well- planned projects.
He said that his infrastructural development agenda is not about money-making or gaining political capital but about improving the lives of every Sierra Leonean.
The president also said that because of his credible approach to achieving development, international development partners now regard the country favourably and as a destination for investment.
He said that the bridge would reduce the perpetual traffic between Lumley and Juba, emphasising that the project would not add any debt burden on the country.
He assured the country that his government will provide effective monitoring of the construction work and ensure that the project is completed in good time.
“Like I promised during my campaigns, my government is all about delivering on purposeful and well informed infrastructural development. This project is of importance because it will not only ease the problem of traffic congestion, but it will also unlock the tremendous potentials of the city and will make Lumley and its beyond accessible to people.
“This bridge will be built to meet international standard and will not bring any burden on our country,” he said.
At the Limkokwing-Regent Road rehabilitation site, President Bio expressed his appreciation to the Chinese government for their support to the country.
He said whenever he make promises, he always try to deliver on those promises. He stated that the people of Regent deserve a decent road, paved and well-constructed.
His government he said, will continue to embark on infrastructural development the country could afford, and developments that are transparent and inclusive.
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sierra Leone – WU Peng, said that his government is committed to the development process in the country.
He said that the two countries continue to enjoy a relationship that was mutually beneficial. He noted that both projects are the result of a collaboration between the governments of China and Sierra Leone, adding that road construction projects would help to reduce traffic congestion in the city.
Ambassador Wu said that he is pleased with the President Bio’s commitment to deliver the ambitions of Sierra Leoneans, especially by improving road networks across the country.
Both the Lumley-Juba bridge and the rehabilitated Limkokwing-Regent road could be opened to traffic in the next six months.