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Martyrs Bridge (Bamako)

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Title: Martyrs Bridge (Bamako)  
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Subject: Bamako, Niger River, Kennedy Bridge (Niamey), Mékrou River, River Niger Bridge (Onitsha)
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Martyrs Bridge (Bamako)

Looking North over the Niger River, BCEAO Tower in the background and the Martyrs Bridge in the foreground.

The Martyrs Bridge (Pont des martyrs) of Bamako Mali connects the older sections of the Malian capital to its broad suburbs on the south shore of the Niger River. One of two road bridges across the Niger at Bamako, it is also known as the "Old Bridge". Opened in 1957 when Mali was under French Colonial rule it was renamed the Martyrs Bridge after independence in 1961. Martyrs Bridge connects two of the main avenues of the city. Avenue Fleuve (also known as Avenue Modibo Keita), a broad boulevard enclosing the Square Lamumba which runs north towards the Presidential palace. From the south of the bridge runs Avenue de l'Unite Africain, the major route from the city centre south to Bamako-Senou Airport.

Other crossings

In 1982 a second road bridge, the King Fahd Bridge, was opened just 500 meters upstream. Both bridges connect the central city neighborhood of Commune III with Badalabougou.

Prior to the 1950s, the only crossing of the Niger at Bamako was at the Sotuba Causeway, 8 kilometers downstream from the city, which is a low water crossing of cut stone at the location of a natural rapids. The Aigrettes Dam, 200 kilometers upstream, is a hydroelectric station and the next all season crossing to the west. The next all season crossing downstream is at the Markala Dam, over 200 kilometers east northeast past Segou, which until recently relied on ferry transport to cross one arm of the Niger. The next road bridge to cross the Niger river downstream of Markala is at Gao, Mali. A Chinese funded third road bridge, downstream on the east end of Bamako, is in the planning stage.[1]


  1. ^ 3è pont de Bamako : Le Chantier se Précise à l'Horizon. L'Essor, 21 May 2007.
  • Pascal James Imperato. Historical Dictionary of Mali. Scarecrow Press/ Metuchen. NJ - London (1986) ISBN 0-8108-1369-6
  • Velton, Ross. Mali: The Bradt Travel Guide. Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot Press, 2000. pp. 101–122

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