Dona Ana Bridge
|Dona Ana Bridge
Ponte Dona Ana
|Locale||Vila de Sena and Mutarara in Mozambique|
|Preceded by||Samora Machel Bridge|
|Followed by||Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge|
|Total length||3,670 metres (12,040 ft)|
|Number of spans||40|
Location in Mozambique
The Dona Ana Bridge spans the lower Zambezi River between the towns of Vila de Sena and Mutarara in Mozambique, effectively linking the two halves of the country. Built by the Portuguese in 1934 during the Portuguese rule of Mozambique, it was blown up by RENAMO fighters during the Mozambican Civil War.
It was originally constructed as a railway bridge to link Malawi and the Moatize coal fields to the port of Beira. After the civil war, it was converted to a road bridge through the assistance of USAID. It was reconverted to a rail bridge in 2009.
The 3.67 kilometres (2.28 mi) long Dona Ana Bridge was at that time the longest railway bridge in Africa. The bridge comprises 33 spans of 80m and 7 spans of 50m. In the 1980s, during the Mozambican Civil War, it was rendered unusable. USAID assisted with the repairs and it was converted to a single-lane bridge for vehicle traffic.
Although not located on a primary highway, it provided an alternative route over the Zambezi. The other two options were the bridge at Tete and the former road ferry at Caia which was not always reliable. The Dona Ana Bridge is the longest bridge across the Zambezi and it used to be the last downstream bridge before the construction of the Armando Emilio Guebuza Bridge in 2009.
The bridge was partially closed to vehicular traffic from 1 July 2006 for rehabilitation and re-conversion to a rail bridge and was completely closed only in October 2006 for traffic.
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