The bridge was built in Khartoum, the seat of the Government of the Independent Republic of Sudan, at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. Recchi won the contract in 1962, out of more than thirty international companies that competed in the tender process. The purpose of the project was to link the ancient district of Omdurman with Shambat, the new residential area after which the bridge was named. The reinforced concrete road bridge has four lanes and two footpaths. It has an overall length of 1,050 metres and is 23.60 metres wide with 88-metre spans. The eight piers are founded on caissons in reinforced concrete and steel, sunk under compressed air.