The construction of the 2nd bridge over River Wouri was to say the least a stitch in time given its economic importance not only in Douala but the sub-region as a whole. The bridge constructed within the framework of President Biya’s “Greater Achievement Programme is no doubt a huge relief on economic activities in the economic capital that were often slowed by traffic on the old bridge.
The construction of the 2nd bridge over River Wouri which is today a reality following the partial opening of the architectural jewel to circulation on October 3, 2017, is described by pundits as timely. The drive towards an emergent economy by 2035 cannot be attained without such infrastructure. The new bridge constructed therefore over River Wouri in the heart of Cameroon’s economic capital is not only an economic lever for the country alone but the Central African sub-region in general. There is no gainsaying reiterating that Douala, is the economic melting pot of the sub-region, serving as the seaport for landlocked countries in the sub-region such as Chad and the Central African Republic. The bridge does not only link the main city and the seaport to the Bonaberi industrial zone, but also links the production basins of the South West, West and North West Regions as well as the Moungo Division of the Littoral Region.
Serving as a link between agricultural production basins and industrial zone, the Wouri Bridge is bound to be under pressure by motorists every moment of the day. Experts say between 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles of all categories ply the bridge every day. The heavy circulation given the dense economic activities in Douala necessitated the construction of another bridge over River Wouri in order to ease pressure on the old 1.2km Wouri Bridge constructed in 1954.
The construction of the new bridge is also expected to give a new lease of life to the Bonaberi industrial zone. Economic activities according to Protais Ayangma, an economic operator in Douala, has regained steam in the industrial zone as traffic congestion has been greatly reduced.
If the famous adage that says “time is money” is anything to go by, then transporters of goods, persons and enterprises based in the seaport town of Douala now have every reason to rejoice following the construction of the new bridge. It usually took between 2-5 hours for vehicles transporting both people and merchandise to cross the old bridge. Apart from consuming time, drivers also complained of huge loss in fuel. Workers often arrived their job sites late thereby reducing their output and consequently inflicting financial repercussions on the enterprises.
The construction of the FCFA 132 billion worth bridge whose foundation stone was laid on November 14, 2014 by the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, has metamorphosed business activities in Douala and its environs as well as the Central African Sub-region as a whole.