Abidjan, a city carved in two
The Ébrié Lagoon divides Abidjan in two. On the north bank stand the residential neighbourhoods of Cocody, Deux-Plateaux and Riviera, home to several hundred thousand people. To the south lie the port, the airport and the city's business and industrial districts. As the crow flies, barely two or three kilometres separate these two sides of the city. Yet for the tens of thousands of Ivorians who cross the lagoon each day, the journey is a long and arduous ordeal.
Until recently, the city had just two bridges, both crossing from the Le Plateau district where the lagoon is at its narrowest. These two structures were built in the 1950s and 1960s and have long been part of the daily lives of many of Abidjan's commuters. With more and more vehicles on the road, the area had become infamous for its traffic jams, with journeys taking between 20 minutes and up to 90 minutes or even longer, depending on traffic conditions.
In December 2014, however, a new crossing was opened, radically changing the lives of many of Abidjan's residents.