Kampala — Rehabilitation of the broken Aswa bridge on the Gulu-Pader-Kitgum road will start in January 2010 with sh6.8b funding from the European Union.
The new bridge will replace the 55-year-old one which was constructed in 1954 during the British colonial rule. The current bridge claimed three lives in September 2007 including that of a two-year-old baby when the water rose above sea level.
The bridge, which is about 40km from Gulu, provides a major entrance for people in the northern region and beyond. It was further damaged after many concrete slaps were washed off by floods in 2007.
Gulu Resident District Commissioner Walter Ochora, said at least six construction companies had bid for the construction of the new bridge although the contract had not yet been awarded to any.
He said the bidding closed on October 20 and work is expected to start in January. Ochora said the companies included Multiplex, SPENCON, Dot-Services, Eastern Builders and another he named only as CM.
He said the new bridge would stretch 120 metres south of the current one and the road would consume land on both the west and eastern side.
Ochora assured the land owners who would be affected by the renovated bridge of government compensation. He appealed to the residents who are likely to be affected by the development to register with his office in Gulu.
The Gulu-Pader-Kitgum Bridge is the longest among the three others which link Gulu and Kitgum, Lira and Kitgum and the Awere Bridge.
Ochora said the implementation would be done by the Ministry of Works through the Uganda National Road Authority.