January 21st, 2019, will forever be remembered as one of the most important days in the history of Senegal and The Gambia, the two neighbouring countries that have everything in common: lifestyle, language, culture and religion. The inauguration of a more than a kilometre concrete Senegambia bridge will facilitate trade and travel in West Africa.
The bridge — built in Yeli Tenda/Bamba Tenda ferry crossing — was realised after decades of delays. Presidents of Senegal and The Gambia, Macky Sall and Adama Barrow, witnessed the opening of the bridge 10 kilometres from Farafenni border post. Before cutting the ribbon, President Barrow and his Senegalese counterpart could be seen standing in an open limousine while being driven on the new bridge.
President Barrow hailed the inauguration of the Senegambia toll bridge, for it would further cement the cordial relations between the two countries. “Given the geography of The Gambia and Senegal with a river dividing both countries in two halves, I wonder why it took so much time to have this bridge,” President Barrow told the inauguration ceremony.
In an earlier statement, President Barrow’s office said “the bridge is a vital economic and strategic link connecting the north and south banks of the Gambia River as well as The Gambia, Senegal and other countries in the sub-region. Easy movements of goods and faster delivery of services are now guaranteed round the clock.”
President Sall too was excited about the novel project, saying the two countries are proud of turning the “dream of several generations into a reality.”
The long overdue bridge will enable travelers to travel from the north of Senegal to its southern region of Casamance. In that they can avoid over 400 kilometers of detour. It is open for cars and 35-passenger buses until July when Senegambia bridge will be ready for heavy vehicles and trucks.
The African Development Bank funded bridge has a 100-year guarantee.