By Joel Ogwang
THE Government is sourcing for funds to finance the construction of a new $100m (about sh215.4b) bridge across River Nile in Jinja.
The construction of the overpass is expected to start in 2012, but no funder has been identified to bankroll the project, one of the biggest in the roads sector.
â€œThis is an important project. We hope to find an institution to finance it in time for construction works,â€ said Dan Alinange, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) spokesman.
Prospective target sources of funding include the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The bridge will be part of the trans-African highway linking southern Africa to the north Africa.
A report on the projectâ€™s feasibility study shows that works will last three-and-a-half years and be completed in the first quarter of 2016.
The existing Nalubale Bridge runs from Nalufenya round-about to Nile Breweries along the Jinja- Kampala highway.
However, the new over-pass will join the highway from Nalufenya round-about through the former Nyanza Textile factory.
Isamu Gunji, the team leader of JICA that conducted the projectâ€™s feasibility study, said the preferred route for the bridge was through the southern part of the Nile Breweries, but this was affected by the firmâ€™s expansion plans.
A cable-stayed bridge with an inverted Y-shape pylon and single plane stay-cable has been recommended by the JICA study team.
The project will be supervised by the works and transport ministry through the roads agency.
The completion of the bridge will boost Ugandaâ€™s economic growth through cross-border trade since the route serves the Great Lakes region.
The existing bridge, which was built in the early 1950s, is old and cannot handle the present traffic loan.
Acceptance, timeline, financing, compensation and feasibility study are some of the hitches to the project, said Alinange.
â€œWe (UNRA) will build a bridge that everyone will be proud of. It will also be a tourist attraction. Some people will visit just to see the bridge,â€ he said.