Kampala — Motorists should for the next one month brace themselves for traffic congestion in the city as construction of a multi-billion Kampala flyover project kicks off.
A joint statement issued by Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), Kampala Capital City Authority, and the contractor yesterday indicates that traffic on Nsambya Road, Queen's Way, Clock Tower and Shoprite junction will be diverted.
Unra officials explained that the purpose of the diversion of traffic is to allow the contractor of the project, NIPPON KOE Co Ltd and its partners, undertake "Geotechnical investigation works" on selected sections of the project area from May 15 to June 12.
However, Unra clarified in a statement that the diversion does not mean total road closure but rather diverting traffic to the left lane instead of the current two lanes being used. This means that the traffic, including boda bodas, shall largely share the single lane.
During the 10-day period, Kampala-bound traffic (Nsambya to Kampala) shall use the lane on the extreme left. This will be the same for Nsambya- bound (Kampala to Nsambya/Kibuli where motorists will use the lane on the left.
Similarly, Entebbe-bound traffic (Kampala to Entebbe) shall also use the lane on the extreme left.
However, the 10-day diversion of traffic is likely to cause traffic gridlock since the affected areas are strategic to the city centre and are used by many motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
For instance, traffic on Entebbe Road, which is the second busiest road in the city, is likely to be paralysed. Shoprite too is likely to experience a traffic gridlock.
But when Daily Monitor visited the affected areas, motorists heading from Ggaba through Kansanga to the city centre were diverted at Kabalagala junction to Ggaba Road and onto Mbogo Road up to the 8th Street. Then, from Daily Monitor junction on 8th Street, the vehicles would join the Mukwano roundabout and then proceed to Jinja Road.
For motorists heading to Entebbe, they were diverted at Clock Tower and then exit the city through Kafumbe Mukasa Road up to Usafi Market. Some would also branch off to Mengo Hill Road through Lubiri Ring Road until they reach Kibuye roundabout.
Some of the motorists yesterday expressed concern about the heavy traffic jams that is likely to occcur.
"It is really tough for us operators of commercial vehicles because the more trips we make the more money we get but with this diversion, our daily earnings are definitely going to drastically reduce," said Asuman Ssebunya, a taxi driver who plys the Kampala-Ggaba route.
Traffic police spokesperson Charles Ssembabulidde could not be reached when we attempted to find out how they intend to control traffic on the affected areas.
Daily Monitor reported last week that preliminary works on the Kampala flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project had been commenced.
The project design indicates that Clock Tower flyover will be half a kilometre long. The road from Shoprite at Queens's Way towards Katwe will be widened to have more lanes.
The contractors, according to the plan, will also improve Nsambya Road, Mukwano Road and part of Ggaba Road.
The second phase of the flyover will be on Jinja Road near Centenary Park and Wampewo Roundabout.
The two flyovers are expected to connect outwards to the proposed Kampala-Jinja and Kampala Expressways.
The flyover project is being funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency at a tune of Shs224b and is implemented by Unra on behalf of government of Uganda.
It is expected to be completed within three years.