Motorists planning to use Binaisa and Namirembe roads have been given alternative routes as some parts of these roads have been partly closed to pave way for construction works.
The two roads are being constructed by Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to ease mobility for both motorists and pedestrians. Both roads are being funded by the Government of Uganda through the Uganda Road Fund (URF).
While Binaisa Road will majorly be motorised upon completion, Namirembe Road will be non-motorised, with only pedestrians and cyclists allowed.
The Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) project will cover both Namirembe Road and Luwum Street with a major aim of reducing congestion.
Binaisa Road in Kawemepe Division stretches from the Mulago Roundabout up to Kubbiri Roundabout that connects both Gayaza Road and Bombo Road.
Namirembe Road in Kampala Central Division, stretches from Berkley (Bakuli) off Hoima Road up to Mini-Price shopping arcade at the foot of Luwum Street.
Luwum Street stretches from Mini-Price shopping arcade through Nakasero market up to Entebbe Road just behind Barclays Bank.
Mr Jacob Byamukama, the KCCA’s acting director for roads and management, said the Shs3b road project will run for three months, adding that it will be done in phases to avoid traffic gridlock.
Upon completion, the road is expected to reduce traffic jam at Kubbiri and Mulago roundabouts.
Mr Byamukama explained that the works will involve scarification and compaction of the existing base on the northern lane of the dual carriage way, applying a new base layer of processed murram and sealing it with a 50 mm asphalt layer.
“The works shall also involve reconstruction of walkways on both lanes of the dual carriage way, installation of kerbs, and construction of a cut off drain on the northern lane of the dual carriage way,” Mr Byamukama said.
Binaisa Road connects other feeder roads such as the Katanga pedestrian path, Otunnu Road, and Old Mulago Road.
However, the construction works have caused a hitch in the flow of traffic.
When Daily Monitor visited the road, traffic was flowing at snail pace on Kira Road (Kamwokya side) Yusuf Lule Road, and Hajj Musa Kasule Road (Wandegeya side).
Ms Edna Kwagala, one of the motorists, who operates a boutique at Garden City, told this newspaper in an interview that she was not aware of the scheduled upgrade on Binaisa Road.
“I stay in Gayaza and this is the road that I usually use because it is very strategic. It will definitely be hard for me and other motorists who have been using it on a daily basis,” she said.
The KCCA’s traffic control plan indicates that the southern lane at Dwaliro roundabout will be widened to allow motorists from Gayaza and Kawempe through to Kitante Road during peak times.
Warning signs for roadworks will be placed at different junctions and roads such as Kira, Dwaliro and Hajj Musa Kasule Road, and Kubbiri round about to warn motorists of the works ahead and possibly divert.
Mawanda, Kisingiri, Dwaliro Junction.
Motorists can turn left into Mawanda Road, into upper Mulago Hill Road to Mulago Hill and then onto Tufnell Drive where they can join Kiira Road.
Mawanda-Kafeero road junction.
Motorists could either use the routes above or move into Church Road down to Gayaza road where they can then join Bombo Road.
Further still, traffic police officers will be placed at the Mulago, Dwaliro and Kubbiri roundabouts to help in directing traffic flow.
Meanwhile, construction works on Namirembe Road have also affected the traffic flow. The road is expected to be completed by August. Namirembe Road is one of the busiest city roads.
Currently, part of the road has since been closed off from Shell Petrol Station to Jaguar Bus Terminal.
“Previously, one would take little time to exit the city centre if one used Namirembe Road but now it really takes long because some of the alternative roads are too narrow to ease traffic flow,” said Abdullah Kasirye, a taxi driver.
The designs of Namirembe Road NMT were made with support from the UN-Habitat, United Nations Environment Project (UNEP), Goudappel Africa Goudappel Coffeng, a Dutch NGO.
According to KCCA, traffic from the city centre will use Old Kampala Road, Mwanga II Road, Jaguar Road, or Martin Road.
But according to our observation, the ongoing upgrade of Namirembe Road, motorists exiting the city centre can also use Allen Road at Qualicel Arcade through Nakivubo Road and connect to Kyaggwe Road through either Bombo Road, or Rashid Kamis. From Khamis Road, one can either connect to Sir Apollo Kaggwa Road, or connect through Gaddafi Road up to Makerere Hill Road. Alternatively, one can also use Kafumbe Mukasa Road and connect through Kisenyi, Rubaga Road and connect to Hoima Road.
In a recent interview with Daily Monitor, Mr Dominic Ssemukutu, KCCA’s supervisor of mechanical services, said although the initial designs of the project were purely for pedestrians and cyclists, they were revised to cater for traffic flow, especially at junctions. “In the new designs, we are looking at putting in place turnoffs, gardens and lanes for both motorists and pedestrians.
The NMT corridor remains the same but those are some of the changes in the designs,” he said. Mr Ssemukutu noted that both Namirembe Road and Luwum Street have some turnoffs whose traffic has to be catered for. Just like Namirembe Road, Luwum Street is one of the busiest streets in Kampala but the heavy traffic gridlock caused by errant motorists makes it congested, according to KCCA.
“When you look at Mwanga II Road, Rubaga Road and Sipro Road Namirembe Road, they all connect to Namirembe Road. This means that in the new designs, we have created provisions at some sections of the road for motorists to be able to join another road but as a one-way,” he said.
The gardens, Mr Ssemukutu said, will be in the middle of the entire corridor with flowers just like the new Nakulabye-Kasubi lane while lanes for both pedestrians and cyclists will be on both the right and left side.
According to the amended designs, a monument in honour of the late Archbishop Janani Luwum, will be erected at the roundabout where Wilson Road starts off Burton and William Streets, just next to Mapeera House.
The late Archbishop Luwum was killed on the orders of President Idi Amin on February 16, 1977, and has since been honoured as a saint and the day of his martyrdom named a public holiday.
A recent World Bank report says the existing roads in Kampala were constructed in the 1960s for 100,000 vehicles per day. However, the report states, 400,000 vehicles use the roads every day currently.
The report also states that the number of both taxis and boda-bodas was increasing faster than the existing infrastructure.
Statistics from KCCA’s directorate of engineering and technical services show that out of 2,100km road network in Kampala, only 500km are paved while 1600km aren’t paved.
Pending city roadworks
Mr Byamukama told this newspaper that KCCA is in advanced stages of commencing the planned works on the five city roads with funding from World Bank under the second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructural Development Project (KIIDP-2).
KIIDP-2 is a five-year project and seeks to improve Kampala’s road network and construction of drainage channels.
The roads include; John Babiha Road (Acacia) Nakawa-Ntinda, Kulambiro, Lukuli and Kabuusu-Bunamwaya-Lweza roads among others with funding from World Bank.
He said that the procurement team reviewed and evaluated all bids from firms for road construction works on the five roads.
He further revealed that KCCA has hired a supervising consultant to review the designs ahead of construction.