December 1, 2015
On November 30, 2015, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to provide grant aid of up to 2.605 billion yen for assistance for the Project for Construction of Upriver Comoro Bridge.
By constructing a bridge and access roads to connect the east and west parts of the capital city, Dili, this project will alleviate traffic congestion caused by the sprawling growth of urban traffic, make it more efficient to travel to the east and west parts of the city, and strengthen the transportation sector to stimulate the economy and make it more resilient.
Home to approximately 20 percent of the country’s population and expanding westward, Dili is divided in two by the north-running Comoro River. The volume of traffic is rapidly increasing on major roads that connect the city center in the east to the west part of the city where the airport is located and new housing development is moving forward. Only one bridge currently traverses the Comoro River, and during peak traffic volume hours, heavy traffic causes congestion on that bridge, hindering urban transportation. Priority issues for the country include addressing the increase in personal vehicle ownership and traffic, which are forecast to increase by three or four percent a year, and, from the perspectives of disaster risk reduction and urban planning, spreading urban traffic out with an alternate route to the current bridge by constructing a new bridge that connects the east and west parts of the city across the Comoro River.
It is expected that this project will decentralize traffic traveling east and west within Dili, alleviate urban traffic congestion, and thereby improve the punctuality and efficiency of transportation. The new bridge, as an alternative route to the current bridge and national highway, will also provide resilience for transportation when there is a disaster or other emergency. In addition to this project, JICA has implemented other projects, including the National Road No. 1 Upgrading Project (repayable loan aid), the Project for Improvement of Roads between Dili and Cassa (grant aid) and the Project for the Capacity Development of Road Works in Timor Leste (technical cooperation), and will continue providing comprehensive support to stimulate the Timor-Leste economy by strengthening the transportation sector.