The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has said construction of the proposed Kampala-Jinja Express Highway will commence in 2015.
Mr Dan Alinange, the UNRA corporate communications manager, told the Daily Monitor last week that, work on the 77 Km stretch will cost more than Shs800 billion and the Lands ministry has already frozen any further developments in areas where the road will pass.
“The master plan for the road is already in advanced stages, and we shall be moving in full throttle in 2014 to address issues like compensation of affected persons among others,” Mr Alinange said.
He further noted that the road designs were developed by the Japanese engineers; though the project itself will be constructed through a private-public-partnership and they are already receiving statements of qualifications from suitable investors/consortia.
According to the blue-print, a copy which has been seen by this newspaper, the express highway which will be paid for using token coins before usage, will be a eight-lane carriage way and will also comprise of at least two bus lanes.
UNRA, however, could not provide a copy of the road design for publishing, allaying fears that speculators will rush to the proposed areas of the road and buy land in anticipation of compensation.
UNRA expects to expand the old Jinja Road from Katarima Junction in Nakawa - where Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will stop to Banda to a four-lane carriageway.
The new express highway shall branch from Banda, through Kinawataka, Bweyogerere, Mukono, to Jinja through a section of Lugazi sugar plantation in order to avoid Mabira Forest.
It is also expected to connect to the Southern Bypass, with a sophisticated network of tunnels and flyovers, according to UNRA’s plan.
In 2010, the World Bank contracted a UK consultancy, Integrated Transport Planning, to conduct feasibility studies on the current transport system, with a view of a possible turn around, and suggesting several radical measures
The objective was to study the transport status quo and how the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) could be reinforced as the solution.
The BRT report outlined the introduction of the public transport system, like the Pioneer Easy Bus.