Uganda: City Hall Unveils Plan to Overhaul Kampala Roads

Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is set to upgrade a total of 20 (46.7km) roads to dual carriage to accommodate the increasing traffic in the city.

The project, funded by the African Development Bank at a cost of about $240m (Shs891b), includes construction, upgrading, paving and dualling selected roads to four lanes. Selected junctions will be signalised and auxiliary works, including installation of street lights.

The plan will also overhaul the city transport system where the authority plans to procure 100 eco-friendly buses to reduce congestion.

KCCA officials say the work is expected to start at the end of the year with the paper work expected to be completed by September.

The authority currently has a network of 2,110kms of roads of which only 608km are paved.

The first component will cost a total of $158.7m (Shs589b) which will involve upgrading 46.7km of roads.

The second component will include procurement of 100 eco-friendly public transport buses at about $33.3m (Shs123b) to enhance urban mobility and achieve benefits of climate change mitigation.

The buses will have minimum vehicle length of 12 metres for single deck and 10.8 metres for double deck with convenient seating capacity, maneuverability and compactness, with a minimum capacity of 80 passengers.

The component also includes civil works improvement on the selected routes, including the necessary road infrastruture.

The first route will run from City Square and take the eastern route through Centenary Park - Lugogo Cricket Oval - Kololo Senior Secondary School - Kira Road Police Station - Kamwokya Market - Mulago Hospital - Wandegeya - Watoto Church - City Square.

The second one will include City Square - Watoto Church - Wandegeya - Mulago Hospital - Kamwokya Market - Kira Road Police Station - Bukoto Kisasi Junction - Ntinda Junction- Ntinda Primary School - Ntinda New market - Spear Motors Junction - Nakawa Market - Lugogo Cricket Oval - Centenary Park - City Square.

Obstacles

The project document attributed the traffic congestion to a poor road network, uncontrolled junctions and insufficient roads capacity.

"This congestion results in higher vehicle operating costs, long travel times and poor transport services. The overall city aesthetics and quality of life is highly compromised by the dilapidated paved roads and sidewalks, unpaved shoulders and unpaved roads which are sources of mud and dust that hovers over large sections of the city," the document states.

During a stakeholders meeting on Tuesday, Mr Jacob Byamukama, the KCCA deputy director in charge of engineering and technical services, said the construction will decongest the city and save travellers time.

He said the project will also involve construction of social amenities.

"We shall not only construct the roads, we shall also put other facilities such as toilets, parking for big trucks. We want to construct roads which are functional and complete for the benefit of users," Mr Byamukama said.

"We shall also construct access routes leading to primary schools and other public infrastructure. For instance, on Port Bell Road, we shall construct places where vehicles can turn, trailers can park close to the port," he added.

Mr Byamukama said the public transport system will include scheduled bus services.

"The important thing is to pilot transforming of our public transport sector from informal nature to a scheduled service. We want to work with current transport operators to see how we can organise them into groups to operate these buses. For us we shall buy them, provide infrastructure but work with them," he said.

He said KCCA has taken over the procurement of the buses because previous attempts to attract private sector to provide buses for public transport had failed.

Mr Andrew Kitaka, the acting KCCA executive director, called for support for the project to ensure that Kampala copes with the challenges of congestion.

"Currently, we have a very big problem with congestion in the city and no one is going to address this problem without touching public transport. Kampala has an estimated day population of 4 million people and the figures come down to about 1.6 million people at night," Mr Kitaka said.

"There is no city in the world that has managed to address congestion without having high capacity public transport systems. The many matatus and boda bodas we have will never address the problems, they have already reached their limits and its high time KCCA came in to organise the public transport system," he added.

Consultation

Mr Kitaka said they will work with the current operators to ensure smooth transition from the current system to a more organised one.

"We are not going to wake up one day and say matatus should go away. There will be a consultative process where we shall all agree which corridors we shall start with," Mr Kitaka said.

The latest World Bank report indicates that Kampala is growing at the rate of 5.2 per cent, which Mr Kitata said is one of the fastest globally.

"We have been left behind by other cities and we must be able to catch up. In other cities what you can find this time are the big high capacity buses so we need to improve and ensure that we provide scheduled transport services to our people," he said.

Project phases

Component one:

-Road widening, improvements to geometric layouts, junction improvements, pavement upgrades, civil works, non motorised transport infrastructure, associated landscaping and drainage works.

Component two:

Climate change intervention: Eco-Friendly Public Transport Buses

Green Bus Route No. 1:

City Square - Centenary Park - Lugogo Cricket Oval - Kololo Senior Secondary School - Kira Road Police Station - Kamwokya Market - Mulago Hospital - Wandegeya - Watoto Church - City Square.

Green Bus Route No. 2:

City Square - Watoto Church - Wandegeya - Mulago Hospital - Kamwokya Market - Kira Road Police Station - Bukoto Kisasi Junction - Ntinda Junction- Ntinda Primary School - Ntinda New market - Spear Motors Junction - Nakawa Market - Lugogo Cricket Oval - Centenary Park - City Square

Roads for upgrading

SN Road/ junction Name

1 Port Bell Road (6.55km) Nakawa

2 Old Port Bell Road and Spring Road (3.46km) Nakawa

3 Kasubi - Northern Bypass (2.4km) Lubaga

4 Kibuye - Busega Road (6.6km) Lubaga

5 Ggaba Road/ Muyenga Road Junction (0.42km) Makindye

6 Ggaba Road/ Nsambya Estate Road Junction (0.19km) Makindye

7 Canon Apollo Kivebulaya Road/ Albert Cook Road Junction Lubaga

8 Bulange Junction Lubaga

9 Luwafu Road (2.6km) Makindye

10 5th Street (1.1km) Central

11 6th Street (1.8km) Central

12 7th Street (1.8km) Central

13 8th Street-Namuwongo Rd (2.8km) Makindye

14 Kabega Road (1.2km) Makindye

15 Gaba Road /Muyenga Junction (Kabalagala) Makindye

16 Kisaasi Road 2 (2.5km) Kawempe

17 Kyebando Ring Road 2 (1.8km) Kawempe

18 Muteesa I Road (2.2km) Rubaga

19 Wamala Road (4.4km) Rubaga

20 Old Mubende Road (2.1km) Rubaga

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