Government has embarked on a programme to decongest Kampala city and the metropolitan area of traffic jam by constructing 10 expressways to ease traffic flow.
The project is part of the bigger traffic control plan that government is working on with the Japanese Development Agency (JICA) to signalise at least 30 city junctions to ease traffic.
The acting head of transport planning and traffic management at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Mr Joel Wasswa, told Daily Monitor that the Japanese government offered funding and construction of a traffic control centre.
“The Japanese government through JICA is helping us establish an urban traffic control centre and also signalising about 30 junctions. That project is set to commence this year and it will see the control centre established here [KCCA offices],” Mr Wasswa said.
According to the plan, 10 expressways will be constructed in the next five years, in addition to upgrading some of the existing city roads to dual carriage ways and widening others.
During the manifesto presentation review last month, the Minister of Works and Transport, Ms Monica Ntege Azuba, said progress has been made in addressing the city traffic problems.
She said construction of the expressways would reduce the traffic burden on the current roads and ensure smooth flow of vehicles to and out of the city.
“Ahead of the elections, we promised the people of Kampala and Uganda that we would work on these projects. We are here to announce that progress has been made and Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is already done and works on the other expressways will start soon,” Ms Azuba said.
The new expressways
Kampala-Jinja Expressway is at procurement stage, meaning government is searching for a contractor. This follows the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, which is complete and currently in use.
For Kampala-Mpigi Expressway, the contract was awarded to a consortium of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway 19th Bureau Group Company Limited.
A number of works for other expressways are either under procurement or funds are being sought to start the projects, while others are undergoing designing.
Mr Mark Ssali, the corporate affairs manager at the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), said all is set for the big infrastructure development.
He said construction of the expressways will decongest the city and make it more accessible at cheaper and more efficient rates. “The expressways will reduce congestion and jams and therefore reduce travel time and cost. They will also stimulate trade, agricultural and industrial development, boost tourism and foster regional integration,” Mr Ssali said.
He said government has already signed contracts with some construction companies but other projects are still under procurement or design.
Others are Kibuye-Busega Expressway, Busega-Mpigi Expressway, Kampala-Bombo Expressway; Kampala Outer Beltway (Ggaba-Seeta-Matugga-Wakiso-Nsangi), Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project.
Also in consideration are Nakasero-Northern Bypass Express Route, Kampala-Nansana-Busunju Expressway and Kampala-Bujuuko Dual Carriage.
“For Busega-Mpigi, we have signed the contract for civil works, and had an official handover of contract to the contractor. Next is mobilisation and commencement of physical works. For Kibuye-Busega, government is in discussions with potential funders and an agreement is due soon and for the Kampala-Bombo Expressway, feasibility studies and detailed designs are ongoing,” Mr Ssali said.
He said for Kampala-Busunju-Hoima Expressway, UNRA is in the process of securing a consultant for feasibility studies. He said once this is complete, UNRA will move to the next stage.
He said all the planned expressways are aligned to the national plans such as those of KCCA and the National Development Plan.
While works of the Kampala Northern Bypass capacity improvement project are ongoing, Mr Ssali said the process took long because of delays caused by land acquisition. He said other projects are also on course.