“The Future with confidence”, President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s agenda for social change, promises the end to isolation for all of Gabon by 2016. Transport and alternative services are a vital economic link in the chain of development operations in the Emerging Gabon.
1- Renovation of the main trunk road Route Nationale 1
The 1st stage consists in renovating the Route Nationale 1 (RN1) on the Libreville-Ntoum section.This approximately 70 km stretch of road has been divided into three sectors, which are:
The new Route Nationale 1 (RN1) will be widened to a dual carriageway (with two lanes in each direction) in urban areas and will be narrower in semi-urban areas.It will encourage and improve transport and connectivity between Libreville and the towns in the interior of the country.This project will make use of existing infrastructure works.The feasibility and design studies have been completed.To date, 30% of the work has been carried out.It will be completed in January 2015.
2- The extension and rehabilitation of Boulevard Triomphal
The renovation of Boulevard Triomphal is one of the flagship projects in the Libreville network:the widening of the main artery and the construction of upscale buildings should improve the flow of traffic and facilitate access to the administrative buildings.
This project also includes the renovation of the Sea Front area (one of the major road routes in Libreville) and the neighbouring areas, as well as an improvement to the Glass road.The first phase will comprise traffic management and road safety.Special bus lanes will be set up with a bus network comprising a large number of stops.The roads will also be improved and the traffic management enhanced.
3- Glass road project
To date, the study of the Glass road is one of the most advanced.The transformation of the Glass road is part of the programme for the redevelopment of the Gabonese capital.It will redistribute road traffic, reduce traffic jams and arrange the road network on the model of the major western cities.To this end, a major operation to demolish the haphazard constructions that were encroaching on the public domain around the Glass road and in other districts of Libreville was carried out in November 2011.
Since November 2011, a team of Urban Planners from the AgenceNationale des GrandsTravaux has been conducting a topographical, geotechnical and conceptual analysis of the southern Sea Front section, from Oloumi market to Lalala district, and on the development plan for this road which will include a dual carriageway, widened pavements, green spaces, parking areas and bus shelters.Glass road will in fact include a line of the future Libreville bus network.Calls for tender for the construction of Glass road are currently being drawn up.The work is expected to begin in the near future.The work on Glass road is the 1st phase of urban development, which will subsequently be replicated in numerous districts of the city.It is a major anchor project which will have a decisive impact on the daily lives of the population of Libreville.
Elsewhere in the country, work is also being carried out on the following sections of road:
4- Airport Infrastructure
Gabon possesses 44 public airports including three international ones (Libreville, Port-Gentil and Franceville).
Work to extend Libreville airport began in September 2011, and is scheduled for completion in February 2013.
However, Libreville International airport, which is today used by the majority of flights, has, over the years, been caught up by the town.
This is the reason why the government has decided to move the airport to 60 km away from Libreville, on the site of Andem which has a surface area of 1,500 hectares.
The building of the new Andem airport will be a means of developing this suburb close to Libreville and creating more than 3,000 jobs there.
As the economic centre of the country thanks to the oil industry, Port-Gentil will be more extensively connected to the other towns in the interior of the country and to those outside the country.The work to build an airport compliant with international norms comprises the modernisation and extension of the runway to accommodate large aircraft, updating the electronic equipment and building a new terminal.The new international airport at Port-Gentil will make it possible to attract new investors and promote trade.The design studies have been completed and the actual building phase is in progress.
95% of the modernisation work at Mvengué airport in Franceville, in the south west of Gabon, has been completed.The work of extension concerns the building of a presidential pavilion on a surface area of 700m², developing the outside façade and enlarging the terminal building on an area of 2,000 m². The date of delivery is set before the end of 2012.
5- Rail Infrastructure
Gabon has 658 km of railway extending along an axis connecting the port of Owendo, in the Southern suburbs of Libreville, to Franceville, capital of the province of Haut-Ogooué.The State’s ambition is to rehabilitate and increase the capacity of the Transgabonais railway line that connects Libreville and Franceville.Other projects:complete the Belinga branch by road and then rail and develop the intermodal hub at Ndjolé.
6- River and marine infrastructure
The development of river and marine infrastructure represents a real challenge for Gabon.The project to establish the coast as a priority action zone aims to set up an institutional framework for the management and sustainable development of the coastal area.A vast project has been launched to modernise and build new harbours (which carry more than 90% of commercial traffic), and develop more than 3,000 kilometres of river routes.Several new ports will be built:a deep water port to support Belinga, Lambaréné port, the national ports of Libreville, Port-Gentil and Mayumba.
The improvement in harbour facilities aims to increase trade with the rest of the world.The modernisation and extension of the port of Owendo will provide better services, reduce the waiting time at anchorage and improve wharf operations.The feasibility studies are underway and the work will last until 2015.