Kampala. The procurement process for a contractor to build the proposed Kampala-Jinja Expressway will start in March, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) executive director, Ms Allen Kagina, has said.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday, Ms Kagina also revealed that the process will go hand-in-hand with sourcing a contractor for the Kampala Southern bypass, a 18km-road stretch that will start at Butabika, on the eastern outskirts of Kampala and connect the new Kampala-Jinja Expressway and Munyonyo—at the new Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, whose construction is already ongoing.
“Detailed designs for the project have been completed, and procurement for a contractor will start in March,” she said.
The Kampala-Jinja Expressway is estimated to cost about $1.5 billion (about Shs5.527 trillion). It will be financed under a Public-Private Partnership.
The 77km stretch will connect to Jinja Town. Officials say sections of the road will have four and eight lanes, respectively at various points.
For example, it will have six lanes between Bweyogerere and Lugazi, and then a dual carriageway between Lugazi and Jinja.
Ms Kagina was addressing the media about the status of implementation of projects by the national roads agency, which has had a turbulent past, and on the ongoing reforms to turn around the corporate management of the organisation. This checkered past is also partly to blame for the poor performances on road projects that recently forced the World Bank to withdraw its financing.
However, Ms Kagina said UNRA was talking to the World Bank to review its decision, especially on the 100km Kyenjojo-Kabwoya road project under the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project.
On the much anticipated recruitment at UNRA, Ms Kagina indicated they have completed internal interviews, (giving first priority to individuals who previously worked there, until the whole structure was overhauled) and they are moving onto external recruitment, a process that has attracted thousands of applicants.
“All unsuccessful staff are being paid terminal benefits; at least 606 former staff have already been paid,” she said.
With the new UNRA structure in place and reforms taking effect, Ms Kagina said their goal will now be to increase the current rate of paving 200km of roads per year to 1,000km, check the rampant corruption in the road sector and later introduce a business model to their activities.
Other road projects
Kampala - Mpigi expressway. Ms Kagina said other major roads projects include the 32km Kampala - Mpigi expressway, whose designs are completed. Procurement for a contractor will start next month and will be funded by the African Development Bank.
Kampala - Bombo expressway. The designs for the 30km Kampala - Bombo expressway will be completed later this year.
Kampala flyover. Ms Kagina said designs for the Kampala flyover projects will be out by December.
Ms Kagina revealed that UNRA is targeting upgrading 1,400km of new road projects this year. “This is will only be possible if we have a strong-willed team in place, and I am happy to inform you the process is ongoing,” she said.