On completion, the flyover is expected to reduce congestion and traffic jam in the city centre.
INFRASTRUCTURE | CLOCK TOWER
KAMPALA- Preparations to demolish and relocate the historical monumental Queen's Clock Tower are underway.
The demolition is intended to pave way for the on-going works of the Kampala Flyover project that is worth sh300bn.
On completion, the flyover is expected to reduce congestion and traffic jam in the city centre, making it easier for people to reach their destinations especially during rush hours.
The 3.5km project is funded partly by the Government of Uganda with support from the Government of Japan through the Japanese Integration Corporation Agency (JICA) and implemented by Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA) in conjunction with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
In December,2018 President Yoweri Museveni launched the project which was to be funded by a loan from JICA.
On Friday, project engineers from Shimizu-Konoike JV, a Japanese company handling the project kicked off the process to dismantle the tower.
This is scheduled to change the entry face of the city in the works that will involve expanding the Queens Way Clock Tower junction and Mukwano Road going up to Kitgum House junction.
By 8:00am, engineers from Shimizu-Konoike JV, working in collaboration with engineers from Infrabuild Services LTD, erected metallic supporting tools, up to the top of the tower.
The engineers removed the exterior metallic plates, exposing the concrete pillars which support the clock tower.
By press time the engineers at the site declined to disclose the methods they intend to use during the demolition exercise.
When New Vision contacted Allan Ssempebwa, the UNRA, Manager media relations, he said that in accordance with the project design, the tower would be rebuilt a few meters away from current location to the square next to the Pan African Square.
According to Ssempebwa, due to its historical and national importance, the relocation of the tower will follow best practice.
Ssempebwa explained: "The tower will be moved at some point within this year to allow traffic movements during and after the works just a few meters away from the current location."
He added that a circular footbridge will be instead built above its current location.
However, Ssempebwa declined to reveal the period the demolition exercise will take place.
"The project completion date is still December 28, 2021, our contractor will make the necessary adjustments to finish within that time," he said.
When KCCA took over management of the city in 2011, the clock tower was refurbished and rebranded in an effort to beautify the city.
KCCA Communication Officer, Daniel Nuweabine said that they have been working with UNRA on the Flyover project adding that he is aware of the demolition program.
The tower was constructed in 1954 in commemoration of the first visit of Her Majesty the Queen of England, Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. It is regarded as a valuable historical monument and a tourist site in the city.
The Queen visited Uganda on April 28, 1954, and stayed up to April 30. She returned on November 21, 2007, for a four-day visit during when she attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting at Speke Resort, Munyonyo.
The dismantling of the tower, however, comes without the historical clock, which went missing in 2012, raising concern from Members of Parliament, who demanded for its reinstatement to preserve the beautification and its history.