Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa is demanding answers from Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) about the sluggish pace of the Mpigi-Busega Expressway construction. Tayebwa, along with a team of legislators, inspected the ongoing works at Katonga Bridge and the road on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.
Tayebwa expressed frustration, stating that the project, approved in 2016 with an expected completion in 2021, is progressing too slowly. The 35km expressway, contracted to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, was meant to reduce travel time from Busega to Mpigi to 18 minutes.
During the inspection, Tayebwa highlighted concerns about the lack of progress on the Kibuye-Busega section, crucial for connecting with the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway and Northern Bypass. He warned UNRA that the project might be futile if it fails to meet its intended purpose.
Hon. Dan Kimosho, Chairperson of the Physical Infrastructure Committee, emphasized the need for the contractors to find nearby sources of raw materials to expedite the construction process.
Locals living along the route are facing challenges due to the delayed completion. Mawokota North MP, Hon. Hillary Kiyaga, pointed out issues such as flooding and the absence of a drainage system.
UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, explained that geological and technical issues, including the impact on the rail road and settlements, contributed to the delays. The original alignment had to be shifted to the edge of the swamp.
Tayebwa also inspected the Katonga Bridge, impressed by the progress. The bridge is crucial for diverting traffic from the old condemned bridge, washed away by floods in May. The new structure aims to facilitate the movement of cargo trucks and passenger vehicles heading to the capital city and neighboring countries.
UNRA director of Roads and Bridges, Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, assured that the steel structure of the bridge would be complete by Christmas, serving as a temporary solution until the permanent construction is finalized.