July 8, 2015
The completed Kara Bridge
The completed Koumongou Bridge
On July 7, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Togolese Republic to provide grant aid of up to 3.125 billion yen for the Project of Construction of Two Bridges, Kara and Koumongou.
In order to boost economic growth, the Government of Togo is focusing on infrastructure development of the Togo Logistics Corridor that connects the capital of Lomé, a naturally good, deep-water harbor located at the southern end of the country, with Burkina Faso which borders Togo to the north. The Togo Corridor is composed of National Highway No. 1, which runs north to south and connects Lomé to the Burkina Faso border, and National Highway No. 17, which branches westward from National Highway No. 1 at Sokodé, a city in central Togo, and loops around to connect again with National Highway No. 1. The northern part of National Highway No. 1 has many mountainous sections with sharp curves and steep grades which hinder the smooth flow of traffic, and National Highway No. 17 plays an important part as an alternative route.
However, all of the existing bridges on the Kara River, which cuts across National Highway No. 17, are low-water bridges, and there are no bridges across the Koumongou River. During the rainy season, which lasts at least six months a year, vehicles cannot cross those rivers.
To improve these circumstances, this project will construct bridges across the Kara and Koumongou Rivers, enhancing the road transportation capacity of National Highway No. 17, and strengthening the Togo Corridor as an international logistics network.
This project will make it possible to use National Highway No. 17 all year long. These bridges will also reduce the time currently needed to travel during the dry seasons by 70 percent. It is also expected that this project will improve the efficiency of logistics between Burkina Faso, which borders Togo, and Mali and Niger which are located further inland.