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EXCITEMENT AS KAMPALA NORTHERN BYPASS UPGRADE PROJECT NEARS COMPLETION

By Joel Mugabi

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has handed over some sections and footbridges of the Kampala Northern Bypass Road Upgrade Project for public use ahead of full completion of the project in October 2021.

According to UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina, the entire project is at 93 per cent readiness, with more works expected to be complete by October 2021.

ED Kagina led the UNRA team for an inspection tour of the project this Tuesday. She emphasized the centrality of the project in the growth of Kampala, and saluted the agency’s staff working on the bypass for their resilience amidst the Covid19 pandemic.

“We have had a challenging 12 months owing to the Covid19 pandemic. I am proud of the UNRA team that has ensured we continue to carry out these important works in a surreal environment,” she said.

“The Kampala Northern Bypass is mission-critical and is the anchor upon which traders, business owners, workers, factory owners etc are able to bring to life their various economic activities. We are happy to enable the continued growth of Kampala city’s economy through world class road and bridge infrastructure.”

The second phase of the upgrade project of the Kampala Northern Bypass started in July 2014 with the goal of improving “the capacity of the Northern Bypass through relieving congestion on this vital route, reducing travel time and vehicle operating costs.”

It includes the construction of an additional carriageway, approximately 17.5km long; completion of the dualization of the Kampala Northern Bypass to a modern four-lane dual carriageway road; and construction of three new footbridges at Kyebando, Ntinda, and Naalya to allow safe crossing of road by pedestrians.

Also part of the project is the construction of six new grade separated interchanges at Sentema Road, Hoima Road, Gayaza Road, Bukoto-Kyebando, Ntinda and Naalya Road crossings to separate the express traffic along the Northern Bypass from the adjoining traffic from the connecting roads such as Nabulagala-Sentema Road, Hoima Road, and Kampala-Gayaza Road. What this means is that transit heavy laden trade traffic, such as cargo will not have to pass through the city once the project is complete.

UNRA has also undertaken works to put in place road safety features such as segregated facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, improved lighting, active road-studs, improved at-grade crossings at signalized junctions, as well as full length road edge safety barriers.

Kagina further explained that the works will also ensure better functionality like improved drainage systems with large capacity drains and box culverts, constructions of utility services crossing ducts (fibre, electricity lines, water pipe) to avoid future damage to the road. She also talked about the delays but assured Ugandans the road project would soon be handed over to the public.

“It is important to note that the project suffered significant delays due to lack of full right of way and possession of site by the contractor and as such the contractor’s productivity and progress was hindered,” she noted.

“The challenges that delayed the timely land acquisition arose from design improvements which necessitated additional land take, disputed compensation amounts by Project Affected Persons (PAPs), family disputes over land ownership, absentee landlords.”

Kagina praised the contractor for being able to “work around the obstacles to mitigate excessive delays,” adding that UNRA had granted the contractor full access to site and that accelerated progress is being observed.

ED Kagina also listed the road sections and footbridges that were ready for use by the public. She went ahead and apologized for the traffic disruptions on sections still being worked on.

“UNRA is happy to share that the sections between Busega-Hoima Rd interchange (Namungoona), Naalya interchange-Namboole and the three footbridges at Kyebando, Ntinda, and Naalya, have been completed and opened to the public for use. UNRA encourages the general public to make use of these facilities especially the completed footbridges to enhance safety,” she announced.

“As the works progress, UNRA is alive to the intermittent traffic interruptions at specific construction sites. UNRA acknowledges the obvious inconvenience these interruptions cause and extends an apology to the public. UNRA appeals to the public to continue observing the traffic management guidelines that have been put in place to enhance safety, enable smooth flow of traffic and avoid accidents.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com). 

 

 

 

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