By Emmanuel Luganda
President Yoweri Museveni today launches the construction of the new Nile Bridge to cost over sh384b.
Uganda will boast of the first cable-stayed bridge, and one of the biggest and deluxe bridge projects in East and Central Africa. And, at completion, the 525m-long iconic new Nile Bridge, with a life-span of 100-years, will consume the longest single-plane cable configuration in Africa and will go a long way in boosting Uganda’s trade and tourism potentials.
Government decided to build a new bridge across the Nile, with the help of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to secure traffic and transport along the Northern Corridor Route and enhance trade volumes with East Africa countries.
Works and Transport Minister, Abraham Byandala, said the upcoming bridge will enhance the Northern Corridor transportation efficiency.
“We shall have an alternative bridge and certainty of uninterrupted traffic flow rather than what we have had with a single bridge at Jinja, over Nalubaale/Owen Falls,” he said.
Construction of the bridge is funded off a $130m joint-venture where the Japanese Government through its aid arm, JICA, contributed $100m while the Government of Uganda funded $30m, including land acquisition and compensation.
UNRA signed a $14.5m consultancy contract with a joint-venture led by Ms Oriental Consultants, in June 2013.
The new bridge will bear heavy traffic, while the old one will convey the light one and hence serve for a long time in the future.
The bridge is a vital link to neighboring countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern Republic of Congo and Southern Sudan.