UGANDA, Masaka | Real Muloodi News | The construction of a temporary steel bridge at River Katonga on the Kampala-Masaka highway has commenced, aiming to alleviate the traffic congestion in the area.
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has initiated the project, with the bridge expected to accommodate all types of vehicles.
Previously, a section of the bridge had been reopened, but it was only accessible to light vehicles. Heavy cargo lorries, trailers, and buses were still required to use a diversion route through the districts of Butambala, Gomba Sembabule, Bukomansimbi, and Kalungu to reach Masaka.
However, the construction of the temporary steel bridge marks Phase II of the bridge restoration efforts, which is estimated to take two months to complete.
According to Mr Allan Ssempebwa, motorists may experience occasional disruptions and delays during the construction process.
He reassured the public that the temporary steel bridge would be available for all vehicles after its completion.
Following this phase, the focus will shift to constructing a permanent pre-stressed concrete bridge, which is expected to take approximately one and a half years.
However, the work progress might be hindered due to the relocation of six high-voltage electricity towers by the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company.
Engineer Mr Emmanuel Kakuru from the contractor, CCCC, expressed the hope that if the towers are swiftly relocated, the installation of the steel bridge could be accomplished in just one month.
The truck driver Mr Ahmed Katongole emphasised the urgency of expediting the construction work at Katonga. He described the diversion route between Villa-Maria and Masaka City as challenging, with narrow roads and numerous potholes.
Over the past few weeks, several trailers have veered into swamps while attempting to avoid the potholes, highlighting the unsuitability of the diversion route for heavy trucks.
Despite the occasional traffic disruptions, UNRA urged motorists to be patient and understand that the construction efforts are aimed at their best interests.
The temporary steel bridge at Katonga is expected to provide significant relief to the congestion and facilitate smoother traffic flow for all vehicles traversing the Kampala-Masaka highway.
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