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Unibridge® Famara Ibrahima Sagna Bridge in Marsassoum: a major structure in Senegal

It was the Senegalese President himself, Macky Sall, who inaugurated the Unibridge® Famara Ibrahima Sagna Bridge in Marsassoum in February 2023. Let’s look back at this technical achievement and this historic moment for Matière® and the citizens of the Sédhiou region.

On 28 February 2023, Senegalese President Macky Sall inaugurated the Unibridge® Famara Ibrahima Sagna Bridge in Marsassoum. This is an important date for the population of the Casamance region in southern Senegal. The bridge will completely open up the Sédhiou region and facilitate its economic and social development.

From ferry to Unibridge® bridge

Previously, the inhabitants had to use a ferry to cross the river,” explains Thomas Rivalta, Manager of Matière® Senegal. It only operated every hour between 8am and 6pm. Since the opening of the Unibridge® bridge, crossing the river takes only 10 minutes, and at any time, day or night. This saves users a considerable amount of time and gives them more flexibility when travelling. It took 24 months to complete the 2×1 lane structure, which is part of the company’s 2018 contract to build 18 bridges.

Technical constraints

As a region of estuaries, Casamance contains poor quality organic soils with a preponderance of silt. To build the roads on this muddy soil, the company had to carry out several phases of soil consolidation with concrete foundations driven by piles up to 40 m deep to allow the bridge to be anchored in rigid soil. The other challenge of this work was to maintain the pace of execution despite the heavy rainfall in the region. The use of Unibridge® made it possible to meet these deadlines despite the geotechnical difficulties of the soil.

Contributing to the economic and social development of the region

During the official inauguration, President Macky Sall emphasised the strategic importance of this bridge located in a natural region surrounded by hectares of forest and multiple waterways. As part of the policy of opening up the region, this structure will also have a significant economic impact by facilitating the transport of goods in remote areas, thus enhancing the economic potential of the region (mango, forest products, horticulture, fishery products). As for the name of the bridge, Famara Ibrahima Sagna, it immortalizes the economic and intellectual career of this man, who was several times Minister and Honorary President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council.

Promoting Matière®’s know-how

The Famara Ibrahima Sagna Bridge, with its 485 m of linear length and its technical nature, is a great reference for Matière®. “It is a great honour for the company to have carried out this work, which demonstrates our know-how and our ability to work with the local workforce trained to use our techniques and know-how,” says Thomas Rivalta. In fact, to complete the contract for the 18 bridges, we opened an agency in Dakar in 2018 and set up a prefabrication plant for concrete elements on the outskirts of Dakar.

Of the 18 bridges in the contract, 12 have been delivered. By April 2024, the company will have completed the contract. For MATIERE, this is certainly a race against time, but above all a great source of satisfaction, as these structures are strategic for opening up Senegal and facilitating trade.

By 2050, the population of Senegal is expected to increase from 7 million to 30 million. And the population is expected to double in Africa by 2050, so it is essential to develop the infrastructure and we are proud to be part of it.

Thomas Rivalta

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