The Uganda National Roads Authority has started evaluating the land and property of residents who will be evicted to pave way for the expansion of a 63-kilometre stretch on the Kampala-Masaka road.
The UNRA spokesman, Mr Dan Alinange, said Kampala-Masaka Road is going to be expanded from 6.5 metres to 11, which will require acquisition of more land.
The expanded road will allow for the construction of climbing lanes for heavy trucks in black spots, as well as space for pedestrians and cyclists. “We want to widen the Kampala-Masaka road, especially on slopes, to allow heavy trucks climbing the slopes to have their own lanes for smooth flow of traffic and also removing sharp bends that have been the cause of road accidents when vehicles are negotiating them,” Mr Alinange said.
The areas that will be affected in the land acquisition are between Nsangi-Kamengo, and Lukaya-Masaka. Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) will carry out the roadworks. Mr Alinange said they expect the contractors to complete the expansion of the road by end of next year.
“We are now meeting the residents, who own land and property located in the area which we are going to acquire. Some people have allowed us to use the land and we pay them later, while others have resisted, but we are still talking to them,” Mr Alinange said.
The same contractor has completed the first phase of the works on the same road, which covers 54 kilometres between Busega-Nsangi and Kamengo-Lukaya. Kampala-Masaka Road has some of the highest traffic in the country with 20,908 vehicles using the road daily, according to official data from 2008.
Due to its narrowness and sharp bends, it has the second-highest cases of accidents in the country after the Kampala-Jinja Road. Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja last month petitioned Parliament to stop the acquisition of land by UNRA before compensating residents.
Similar reports of non-payment are vivid on Mityana Road where residents are still demanding for compensation year since the project was completed. Mr Alinange said they have contacted the local leaders and area MPs to resolve the compensation problems.