UNRA, partners search funding for Jinja express highway

By ABCafrica reporter

The Uganda National Roads Authority {UNRA} and the International Finance Corporation {IFC}, the private sector arm of the World Bank, are looking for potential funders for the proposed 77km Kampala-Jinja Expressway.

Allen Kagina, UNRA executive director, told journalists last Tuesday; that IFC, the transactional adviser on the project, is in the final stages of producing a comprehensive feasibility study for the project before the Roads Agency procures private partners and contractors.

UNRA says the project will be implemented in two phases. The first phase will be the construction of 33km of the Kampala-Jinja mainline commencing at Lugogo and terminating at Namataba in Mukono. The Kampala Southern Bypass will also be constructed in the first phase.

“Phase two will involve the construction of 43.7km of the Kampala-Jinja mainline from Namataba to Njeru in Jinja, where it will join the cable bridge currently under construction”, adds the UNRA source.

The Kampala-Jinja highway, en route to Kenya’s Mombasa port, is Uganda’s busiest road. It has daily transit traffic of 2.2 million tonnes a day, according to official figures. The IFC was engaged by the government to structure a PPP transaction for the design, construction, and financing of both the Kampala-Jinja Expressway and the Kampala Southern Bypass. It is also responsible for structuring the project and its implementation.

The source further says; the two projects will be constructed back to back. “The Kampala Southern Bypass will be an 18km stretch starting at Butabika, on the eastern outskirts of Kampala, connecting to the Entebbe Expressway which is set to be completed in May 2018”, points out the source.

The drive time between Kampala and Jinja is expected to drop to 70 minutes once the new road is completed, from the current three hours. The project is expected to generate up to 1,500 jobs during construction and 250 jobs during operations and maintenance.

Besides the Kampal-Jinja Express Highway, last year UNRA released a plan containing several expressways; that will be funded through public-private partnerships. Others are the Kampala-Busunju Expressway, Kampala-Busega-Mpigi Expressway, Kampala Outer belt and the Kampala-Bombo Expressway.

 

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