Shs200b Northern Bypass expansion project kicks off

A grader does earthwork in what is said to be the expansion of the Northern Bypass into a dual carriage. The project is expected to cost Shs200 billion. PHOTO BY JOSEPH KIGGUNDU

What you need to know:

Remedy. Once complete, the dual carriage highway is expected to help decongest the city centre.

Kampala. The expansion of the Northern Bypass to have a dual carriage has started as graders were seen on Monday carrying out earth work a few kilometres away from the Busega roundabout.
The Shs200 billion project is expected to be completed in two years.
The State minister of Works, Eng John Byabagambi, said the expansion of the Northern Bypass will help decongest the city centre and eliminate rundabouts.
“All roundabouts on the Northern Bypass are going to be removed and replaced with flyovers. These flyovers will solve traffic jams that roundabouts have been causing,” Eng Byabagambi said.
A Portuguese construction company, Mota-Engil, Engenharia E Construcao SA, won the contract to expand the 21-kilometre stretch from Busega Township to Bweyogerere Township.
The first phase of the road project started in 2004 and cost Shs13 billion more than the projected Shs87 billion.
It also ended in 2009 nearly four years from the intended time of completion, which caused the major funders, the European Union to complain.
The second phase is to cost Shs183 billion and the Portuguese contractor has already been procured.
Uganda National Roads Authority spokesman Dan Alinange said the bypass will also connect motorists using Entebbe Express Highway to the city centre.
“We are also going to construct a road in Kalerwe that will be used by very important persons (VIP) plying Entebbe Express Highway to connect them to the city centre,” Mr Alinange said. The road which passes through the area on which Kalerwe market is seated will see the market demolished according to Eng Byabagambi.
Areas the Northern Bypass runs through include; Bweyogerere, Kireka, Naalya, Kiwatule, Kigoowa, Bukoto, Mulago, Makerere, Bwaise, Kawaala, Namungoona and Busega.

Interventions to decongest the city centre

The expansion of the Northern Bypass, in addition to other interventions, including the construction of the Southern Bypass, are geared at decongesting Jinja and Entebbe highways which are said to have heavy traffic flows.
It is estimated that Jinja Road has the highest traffic in the country with approximately 170,000 passengers per day. It is followed by Entebbe Road with approximately 140,000 per day.
41,515 vehicles ply Entebbe Road between 6am and 10pm, 33,464 ply Jinja Road and 20,335 on Masaka Road.

The delays
The expansion of the bypass into a dual carriageway, which was supposed to have started in April last year, was postponed to start later this year.
According to the Uganda National Roads Authority, the delays were mainly to do with funds mainly for the compensating the affected persons.