Yasser Al-Sherif, a 36-year-old fabric dealer, had driven from Nasr City with his brother and nephew especially to see the Tahya Masr Bridge. “It makes me proud,” he told Al-Ahram Weekly between snapping photographs.
President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi inaugurated several projects last week, including the Rod Al-Farag Axis and the Tahya Masr suspension bridge.
The state-owned Arab Contractors Company began work on the 17.2km axis in 2016 under the supervision of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority. It comprises five bridges, including Tahya Masr, a 540m long 67.36m wide suspension bridge.
Major General Ihab Al-Far, head of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, said the total cost of the inaugurated projects was LE170 billion, and if they were to be constructed today they would be twice as expensive.
In addition to Rod Al-Farag Axis the projects include the Martyr Ahmed Hafez Shousha Bridge, built by Al-Saada Group LLC, and Martyr Ahmed Abul-Naga Bridge built by Al-Salam International for Construction and Trade.
Al-Sisi also opened the extension of the Moshir Tantawi Axis, built by the Military Engineering Department east of Cairo, and the Al-Shahid Axis, built by Orascom Construction.
“Egypt is working to complete public projects in the shortest possible time to save money,” said Al-Sisi.
The Rod Al-Farag Axis was not due to be inaugurated for a couple of months but was finished ahead of schedule.
“Since we were commissioned to construct the Rod Al-Farag Axis in 2016 we have been working around the clock, not even stopping for public holidays,” Arab Contractors Chairman Mohamed Mohsen Salah said during a press conference attended by Al-Sisi.
Up to 4,000 engineers, technicians and labourers worked on the axis.
“We are celebrating the completion of the project, the achievement of 4,000 engineers, technicians and young workers who used the most modern equipment and machinery to build this bridge,” said Salah.
Tahya Masr Bridge includes pedestrian walkways on either side, partly fitted with skywalks made of reinforced glass. The skywalks are the first in the Middle East.
The skywalk has made the bridge into “a new touristic destination, maximising the benefit of the axis and not limiting it to transportation,” said Salah.