Slow Construction Work Because of Mismanagement A Stuck Bridge! [Archives:1999/22/Last Page]

May 31 1999

The construction work is slow. The Chinese construction company in charge of building the Al-Shora’ee Overpass Bridge continues to complain against Yemeni bureaucracy, inefficiency, and corruption. 
The Al-Shora’ee bridge, officially the Yemeni-Chinese Friendship Bridge, is financed by a US$ 6 million grant from China. By international standards, it is small, by Yemeni standards, it is giant. 
The total length of the overpass is 402 meters, 15.5 meters wide, and 15.5 meters high at its midpoint. There is a long tunnel. 380 meters long, along Zubairi Street. This will allow thorough traffic to pass straight on by-passing the intersection. 
The bridge is expected to relieve congestion at one of the busiest intersections of the capital city. Work on the project started in March. Three months later, much has already been accomplished, but much more remains to be done. “We have agreed with the Yemeni authorities that work to transfer all underground telephone, electricity and other cables, and re-structure of the flow of water, sewer and other pipes will be completed by end of May. But as you can see, this has not yet happened,” complains Chinese Ambassador Shi Yan Chun. 
He added, “Carelessness, neglect and bureaucratic hurdles are pretty common. Besides, other factors responsible for obstructing progress of work,” he added. 
The manager of the implementing company, Mr. Tang, expressed his unhappiness with the slow pace of work. But Eng. Rajih Abdul-Moghni, Manager of the Yemeni side, highlighted the many complications associated with the implementation. “Moreover, we have made sure that the bridge fits well with the environment,” he said. 
Other people who are unhappy with the slow pace include the Presidential Office, the Central Bank of Yemen, and the Taj Sheba Hotel. “Work should be completed on time. Because of slow progress, it will linger for double the original time,” said an official of the Taj Hotel. 
Mohammed Bin Sallam 
Yemen Times