WASHINGTON, DC  U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Susan D. Page and President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit joined with national, state and local government officials, representatives of the U.S. Agency for International Development, implementing partner The Louis Berger Group, and a smiling crowd of South Sudanese beneficiaries to inaugurate South Sudan’s first paved highway on September 12, 2012.

The USAID-funded Juba-Nimule Road, completed by LBG and its subcontractors in June 2012, is South Sudan’s highest priority road, linking Juba with the Ugandan border and providing the shortest, most efficient route to the Port of Mombasa in Kenya. The 192-kilometer all-weather sealed highway fitted with eight modern bridges has reduced travel time between Juba and the Ugandan border from eight hours to less than three hours, opening international trade between South Sudan and its neighbors and generating economic activities along its route.

In addition to providing faster, easier access to markets, schools and healthcare, reconstruction of the road is bringing many other benefits to local communities. Boreholes and pumps installed to support road construction also supply water to local residents. Three road construction camps have been handed over to the Ministry of Roads and Bridges for use as road maintenance focal points and highway patrol bases to monitor and control traffic. The project has created employment and training activities for road construction workers, and a growing cadre of skilled laborers stands ready to maintain and support South Sudan’s growing road network under the auspices of the newly established South Sudan Roads Authority.

“It is my fervent hope that the Juba-Nimule Road will be South Sudan’s Road to Prosperity,” said LBG Group Vice President Andrew Bailey during opening remarks at the landmark event. “That it will serve the nation in increasing commercial opportunities; that its corridor will become a model for economic development; that it will enhance the security and safety of this young nation; and that it will always be a symbol of what two nations – South Sudan and the United States – can achieve in working together.”

The Juba-Nimule Road project is part of a larger USAID-funded program to reconstruct and rehabilitate critical infrastructure for the people of South Sudan, including work in the transport, energy and water supply and sanitation sectors. The program works collaboratively with the Government of South Sudan and local private sector to build the capacity to maintain the infrastructure and ensure its sustainability long after the projects are complete.

About The Louis Berger Group, Inc. 
The Louis Berger Group is an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. We are a devoted and trusted partner to federal, state, and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry. To this diverse client base we bring strategic vision and an entrepreneurial spirit, developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. With a resource base of more than 6,000 professionals and affiliate employees in more than 50 countries, we are able to respond to local conditions while providing clients with the technical resources and rapid response capabilities of a leading global organization.