China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) invited Kampala journalists for a tour around Uganda’s next magnificent road, viagra Kampala-Entebbe Expressway, prostate whose completion will see movement from Kampala to Entebbe reduced from 2 hours to 30 minutes.
The highway which spans 36.9km from Busega to Entebbe is funded by the government of Uganda and Exim Bank of China.
At 9:30am on Friday May 13, thumb we (journalists) are at Kajjansi Interchange for a briefing by the team from CCCC led by Zhang Biao, the country manager.
An interchange is a place where different roads meet. The expressway has four of them: Mityana, Busega, Kajjansi and Mpala.
On arrival, Sebastian Kizito, a health and safety engineer, gives us pink reflector jackets and helmets after which he tells us “They are very necessary since construction is still on-going.”
Li Jincheng, the projects manager with the assistance of Abbas Ali Mugisha, a civil engineer then walks us through the progress of the project which is “So far 80 per cent complete.”
Expected to be available for use by November 17, the road boasts of the longest bridge in East Africa stretching 1.45km, supported by 464 girders, 264 piles that are 50m below water level.
From its inception in 2012, the road has employed over 15000 local workers in different areas, but at the moment they have 500 “since work has gradually reduced”.
As the engineers continue with the talk, there are features of the highway that will captivate you.
For instance, while constructing the longest Nambigirwa Bridge, Jincheng says: “We made sure the swamp water stays clean for human and animal usage.”
Before constructing the bridges, he adds: “We met officials from Ministry of Land, NEMA and Wetland offices to ensure we come up with a plan that is environmental friendly.”
Lincheng at this point victoriously announces, “Our work has been successful and we are on good terms with NEMA and wetland offices.”
When the road is finally ready, to use it, Ugandans will have to pay.
“Payments will be made at top plazas (Busega and Kajjansi) at a cost that will be decided by the government when it’s the right time,” said Mugisha.
The 12.68km spur off the main highway to Munyonyo, is also 80 per cent complete, however Mugisha says; “Just as the main way, the spur will also be complete by the end of the year.”
Jincheng confesses that they are most likely not to meet the anticipated time for completion of construction, which has even led to the extension of the contract to May 5, 2018 due to some setbacks.
The need to widen the road to 4 lanes faced a strong hindrance at Nalumunye where they had to blast a rock.
The works are still on-going, which he says stills requires two more weeks to finish exploding the rock plus two more months for putting up the road.
Another setback has been delays in compensation of natives at Kitala, which has been slowed down by both the government and the locals themselves.
“Some people who own land do not have documents to their land so compensation becomes hard,” said Mugisha.
According to the Jincheng, the road is not open for use by people, but travelling on the road – you may think there is a road-testing operation underway.
Whereas the cars are not so many, the speed at which they drive is so alarming.