The Tongan government has asked the Asian Development Bank to fund a bridge to connect Nuku’alofa to the centre of Tongatapu.
The ADB is studying the viability of the project.
Kaniva News understands the estimate cost of the project is $40 million.
If built, the new harbour bridge is expected to cross from the town of Folaha in Tongatapu 8 to ‘Umusi in Ma’ufanga in Tongatapu 4.
The ADB is working with Government to ensure due diligence.
This includes community consultation with those affected on the landing sites on both sides.
A preliminary design cost of the bridge has been estimated and a traffic model is being worked on.
It is expected that the government will be able to indicate whether the project is viable by the second half of the year.
The Tongan government first raised the possibility of a bridge in 2015.
As Kaniva News reported at the time, the former Minister of Infrastructure ‘Etuate Lavulavu said a plan for the bridge was one of his ministry’s strategic and action plan 2015.
The following year Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said a new bridge would cut down travel costs and help evacuate the city in case of emergencies.
“Going from the capital to the airport is about 40 minutes, but if you have this bridge you probably can do it in about 10 minutes from the capital so there are other socio-economic benefits,” he said.
He said a bridge would also help the economy by cutting the travel time to the old capital of Lapaha.
The main points
- The Tongan government has asked the Asian Development Bank to fund a bridge to connect Nuku’alofa to the centre of Tongatapu.
- The ADB is studying the viability of the project.
- Kaniva News understands the estimate cost of the project is $40 million.
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