Sigh of relief as city roadworks kick-off

Workers erect a bridge on Port Bell Road yesterday. The works are being undertaken by Zhejiang Communications Construction Group Company Limited. PHOTOS | FRANK BAGUMA

What you need to know:

  • At Port Bell Road, for example, it was a beehive of activities yesterday as works by Zhejiang Communications Construction Group Company Limited, the contractors, took shape.

Kampala City road users can now breathe a sigh of relief following the commencement of the construction works on major city roads, which are in a sorry state.

At Port Bell Road, for example, it was a beehive of activities yesterday as works by Zhejiang Communications Construction Group Company Limited, the contractors, took shape.

The contractors were, among others, constructing drainage channels and walkways.

The Kampala City Roads Rehabilitation Project (KCRRP) status report of July indicates that relocation of utility infrastructure is ongoing to pave the way for the reconstruction and dualling of 10.01km junctions and Spring Road (3.46 km), including signalisation of two junctions and construction of a 6.55 km Port Bell Road.

The status report also indicates that forward maintenance of 5th and 6th streets by China Railway No18 Bureau Group Company Limited was in progress and that the contractor is engaging the consultant on relocation of utilities. 

“Both 5th and 6th streets are part of the 18.84km roads to be worked upon, including signalisation of junctions in Rubaga, Kawempe, Central and Makindye divisions,” reads the report in part. 

“In addition, upgrading to paved standard of 10.77km and reconstruction of 6.83km roads including, signalisation of seven junctions in Rubaga and Makindye Divisions by China State Construction Engineering Company, has also commenced.”

The report also reveals that pavement and drainage works are in progress on Old Mubende roads, bush clearing has been completed, while drainage works are in progress on Kigala Road.

Social media campaign

In April, concerned citizens launched a social media campaign highlighting the sorry state of most Kampala roads, which they said were responsible for the heavy traffic jam.

The deputy spokesperson of KCCA, Mr Robert Kalumba, told this publication yesterday that the reconstruction works were going on as planned.

“The work is going on according to the schedule and very soon, we shall be having better roads in the city,” Mr Kalumba said.

A grader levels the ground on Port Bell Road. KCCA is doing construction works on major city roads which have been in a sorry state.

KCCA said Kampala City Roads Rehabilitation Project (KCRRP) recently commenced repairs and construction of more than 70km of city roads with funding of $260m (about Shs961b) from the African Development Bank.

 The 48 months project that commenced in 2021 is aimed at increasing the stock and quality of strategic infrastructure to accelerate Uganda’s competitiveness.

Mr Daniel Muhumuza, the acting head of public and corporate affairs at KCCA, last month said 75 percent of the 600km of the paved road network has outlived its design life and have developed potholes and a poor drainage system.

Mr Muhumuza said the poor state of the roads has caused losses to the city road users and that about $800m (Shs2.9 trillion) is lost annually in vehicle maintenance while close to $1.5m (Shs5.5 billion) a day is lost in travel time and traffic delays.

In his report, Mr Muhumuza indicated that KCCA spends close to Shs30b each year for road maintenance works to avert the above losses by ensuring that the roads are in motorable conditions.

The road maintenance works include patching (pothole repairs of paved roads) and grading and gravelling of unpaved roads.

 He also revealed that some of the roads under repair by KCCA in-house engineers and contractors include Port Bell, Spring Road, Lubiri Ring Road, 6th Street, 8th Street, 7th Street, Old Kira, Namuwongo, Yusuf Lule, Ben Kiwanuka, Roscoe, Press House, Ggaba, Sentema, Kalema, Sir Apollo Kaggwa, Alice Kagwa, Nabweru, and Bombo roads.

Other roads

Mr Muhumuza further noted that under the second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project(KIIDP2) financed by the government and the World Bank, KCCA is completing works on Kulambiro Ring Road, Najeera Link, and Tuuba-Kyanja Road, Kabuusu- Bunamwaya-Lweza Road, John Babiiha Road (Acacia avenue), Ndinda-Nakawa Road, and Lukuli Road.

KCCA has set a goal that by June 2025, Kampala will be an inclusive, livable, resilient, and well-planned city that provides economic opportunity to all.